Piper Reports Growth
Piper Aircraft hired more than 300 employees in the last 18 months, a 20 percent increase in staffing, the company has reported. The growth is driven by increased demand for Piper’s trainer airplanes and its M-class line. The M-class single-engine turboprops — the M600 and M500 — and the piston-powered M350 were certified in 2016. “With aircraft orders in place for 2018 and several long-term contracts for trainer aircraft, the near-term forecast is stable,” said CEO Simon Caldecott. “Additionally, our commitment to a level-loaded, build-to-order business model further enhances stability and creates consistent workload for the team.” The company now has more than 900 workers at its headquarters in Vero Beach, Florida.
The growth is a turnaround from just a couple of years ago, when Piper was laying off workers, citing slow sales in overseas markets. In July 2015, Piper announced a layoff of 150 workers, from a staff of 750. “Piper Aircraft has experienced steady recovery since 2009; however, we are facing challenges and economic instability in several key regions of the world, including Asia, parts of Europe and Latin America,” Caldecott said at the time. The latest GAMA numbers, reflecting sales from January through September 2017, show year-to-date deliveries of 99 airplanes for Piper, including 36 M-class aircraft.