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Bombardier To Furlough Workers

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Bombardier will furlough about 300 of its Learjet workers in Wichita, Kan., for six weeks during the first half of this year, according to the Wichita Eagle. Bombardier cited challenges in the jet market as the impetus for the change. A memo sent to workers last week said the layoffs would affect Learjet 70 and 75 production, but not the Learjet 85. "Market conditions remain quite difficult, especially in that lighter aircraft segment," Bombardier spokeswoman Annie Cossette told the Montreal Gazette. "There are encouraging signs for the U.S. economy but the recovery is not taking hold as fast as we had hoped. So these are measures we're taking to protect our aircraft programs over the long term." The workers will be laid off for two-week blocks, on a rotating basis. About 3,000 people work for Bombardier in Wichita.

The company has done better in the market recently with its larger jets. Last month, the company announced a $2.2 billion order for 38 jets from the Global and Challenger lines. Two other orders were announced in December, each for 10 Challenger jets, valued at about $259 million and $280 million, according to Bloomberg News. The Learjet 70 and 75, introduced in 2012, are updated versions of earlier jets, with seating for six passengers in the 70 and eight in the 75. The all-new clean-sheet 85, which also seats eight but in a larger cabin, is expected to enter service later this year.

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