Cessna ‘Readjusting’ Citation Deliveries, Layoffs Possible

Just days after union production-line workers at Cessna Aircraft were forced by default to accept a new contract, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced this morning that it is again scaling back Citation business jet production and, as a result, will lay off 700 more employees. Parent company Textron today reported that it is “adjusting aircraft production schedules and reducing headcount at its Cessna business unit due to continued weakness in new aircraft orders.” According to Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly, “We have not yet seen a discernable improvement in business jet order activity. Therefore, we are taking further production and restructuring actions at Cessna.” In a note sent to employees today, Cessna chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton said these production cuts will lower costs and keep the company competitive. “Our strategy is to defend and protect our current markets while investing in products and services to secure our future, but we can do this only if we succeed in restructuring our processes and reducing our costs,” he said. In January, Textron estimated that Cessna would deliver 225 Citations this year, down from 289 jets last year and 467 in 2008. The company did not say what the “readjusted” production estimate will be for this year, nor does it plan to release one during its third-quarter investor conference later next month.

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