Brazilian manufacturer Embraer announced Feb. 20 it was laying off 4,200 of its 21,000 employees, or about 20 percent of its workforce. Embraer cited sharply reduced demand for its E-series airliners and executive jets.
According to press reports, the layoffs will not affect the commitment to build a Melbourne, Fla., final assembly plant and completion center on a site that Embraer purchased two months ago at the Melbourne International Airport. The Melbourne plant is intended to handle North American deliveries of Embraer’s new Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 light jets. Approximately 200 people will work at the Melbourne facility.
The layoffs will not only take place in Brazil, but also in its subsidiaries in China and Portugal.
Embraer said that the decision was made due to the “unprecedented crisis in the global economy,” noting that 90 percent of its revenue comes from exports.