By Mary Grady, Contributing Editor
Peter Maurer, president of Diamond Aircraft, said this week he has laid off 213 workers at the company's facility in London, Ontario, while waiting for a decision on a loan from Canada's government. "We are disappointed and frustrated in the extreme to have to take this action," Maurer said in a news release on Monday. "We had deferred these cost-cutting measures as long as possible, while awaiting a positive response to our request for a federal government loan. At this time we are still awaiting a formal response." The job cuts mostly affect workers in the D-Jet program, which has stalled in the face of increased costs and delays. The project is more than 60 percent complete, Maurer said, and if the government financing will come through, he will recall all the laid-off workers and get the program "back on track."
Maurer said the company needs another $35 million to complete the program and has turned to the Canadian federal government to support the company with a fully repayable loan. "The federal government loan is key, because it not only completes the required funding, but also triggers the other arranged financing commitments," according to the Diamond news release. The company also said the infrastructure and technology that are being developed for the D-Jet will be used to support an entire family of future aircraft. "We are hopeful that the government will give this matter urgent attention and provide the requested assistance," Maurer said.