More Trouble at Sino Swearingen

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Sino Swearingen Aircraft on Friday laid off 77 employees from the company's Martinsburg, W.Va. and San Antonio plants this week, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Sino Swearingen Vice President of Marketing and Sales Mark Fairchild termed the move as a restructuring. After faltering to bring its SJ30 production line up to speed in the year-and-a-half since the business jet obtained FAA certification, earlier this month the company hired a new president, Butch Hsu, to turn the company around. The Taiwanese government has invested more than $600 million in Sino Swearingen and is currently under heavy political pressure to liquidate its stake. The company delivered the first SJ30 jet in November, but has so far failed to ship any more.

According to Fairchild, the company is poised to deliver its second twinjet in the coming weeks to a European customer. The SJ30 program has been ongoing for 18 years and has had its share of financial and technical problems along the way.