Hawker Beechcraft has laid off 300 workers, the company confirmed to AOPA. While the company is not releasing a breakdown, sources told Wichita Eagle reporters Molly McMillin and Bill Wilson that 210 salaried employees and 90 hourly workers were released. They will be paid for two more months.
In a Nov. 4 letter to Hawker Beechcraft employees, company Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture said, “In 2009, we sized our company to a Business and General Aviation market we anticipated to begin growing in 2012. At present, the airplane markets in which we compete are showing little sign of growth, and the key indicators that could trigger such growth are stubbornly low.”
The layoffs bring Hawker Beechcraft close to the number the company is required to have in Kansas under incentives offered by state and city governments. The company told the Eagle that it is still above the required number. The company must keep the total number above 4,000, but penalties do not kick in until the number drops below 3,600 workers.
The Eagle’s report indicated the new layoffs are not part of a previously announced workforce reduction associated with moving work to Mexico. Sources also told the newspaper there might be additional layoffs in February 2012.