Symphony 160: Cash Needed, Customers Waiting

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Symphony Aircraft, based in Quebec, has been through many ups and downs already in its short life, and President Paul Costanzo says the latest snag is just one more. "This thing's going to survive," Costanzo told reporters in an upbeat teleconference on Tuesday. But for that to happen, the company needs to raise at least $5.5 million. "That's about what we need, to execute our business plan," Costanzo said. "We've turned over every stone here in Quebec and have not been able to bring the capital in." Canadian tax rules give a hefty advantage to local investment, Costanzo said, but he's now issuing "last call" and looking to U.S. investors instead. Meanwhile, the company has cut its staff from about 30 down to 15. "We've been trying for months to work our way through this," Costanzo said. Some suppliers grew impatient with the cash crunch, forcing the company to go to court and seek protection from creditors. It's been one thing after another for Symphony Aircraft -- in 2003, its German parent company declared bankruptcy, shortly after starting up a brand-new production plant in Trois-Rivières. Costanzo worked then for almost seven months to put together a new company, and finally brought the two-seat Symphony 160 to the North American market.