Wichita Cessna Aircraft announced Thursday an additional 1,200 layoffs and a seven-week furlough for 6,000 other workers, citing uncertain worldwide economic conditions and a reduction in the order placed by a major customer.
The layoffs will be concentrated at the Wichita business jet facility, which currently employs about 9,200 workers, said Cessna spokeswoman Jessica Myers.
Other facilities could be affected, including a plant in Columbus, Ga., that employs 400 workers. Sixty-day notices will be given to the affected workers beginning March 31, company officials said.
Timing of the layoffs had nothing to do with the start of war in Iraq, Myers said, but the action was prompted by current economic conditions, the slow order rate, and a cut in an order from NetJets Inc. NetJets is one of Cessna's two major business jet customers, and business jet sales account for 80 percent of Cessna's revenues, company officials said.
Cessna expects 2003 Citation deliveries will be in the range of 180 to 195 aircraft, down from earlier projections of about 220. Cessna Aircraft, a subsidiary of Providence, R.I.-based Textron, employs 10,800 worldwide.
The cuts will not affect Cessna's Independence plant.
"That is a single-engine production facility and right now their orders are doing all right and they are not as soft as Citation and Caravan orders," Myers said.
The latest round of cuts come on top of 1,325 previously announced layoffs for this year.
Cessna announced in December it planned to layoff 1,500 workers, but revised the final number to 1,200 workers.