Collapsed Investment Deal Contributed To Diamond's Woes

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An 2011 investment deal from a Dubai company never materialized and that contributed to Diamond Aircraft North America's decision to curtail operations and suspend the recently-resurrected D-JET personal jet program. Diamond CEO Peter Maurer said Tuesday that although the deal was made, Medrar never executed the plan and no funding flowed to Diamond. "We have pursued others, but nothing in time to prevent [the] current action. In [the] meantime shareholders were continuing to fund. We will continue to try to find the funding," Maurer said in an email to AVweb. Late Monday the company announced that most of its employees will be laid off pending a reorganization.

Maurer said enough staff have been kept on to fulfill orders and maintain fleet support but most of the employees got notices. "We want to hire back as many employees as possible, as quickly as possible but the exact number and timing will be determined as we develop our restructuring plans in the coming weeks," he said. "Regrettably, we need to suspend activity on the D-JET program pending the securing of additional funding." The action affects only the Canadian operations. Austrian-based Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH is independent from the North American company. The company has sent a letter to its customers assuring them that their aircraft will be supported and that those who have aircraft on order will get them. The letter says the layoffs reflect the suspension of the D-JET program and the slow pace of orders for the piston line. Because there will be fewer people building the new planes, delivery dates will likely slip but Maurer stressed that all the normal services that customers rely upon will be maintained during the restructuring.