A few days after Cirrus recalled 50 employees, Cessna has held true to its word and Friday distributed 700 60-day layoff notices to salaried employees as part of 1,300 cuts announced in April along with suspension of the company’s Columbus business jet program. The total company-wide carnage at Cessna had been sitting at 6,900 layoffs announced since November; the latest cuts are in addition to that. Those cuts mean the workforce at Cessna has been nearly halved. Next, Cessna is planning a four-week shutdown, according to Kansas.com, and the company will make a fourth revision since late 2008 to its production outlook. Where it originally planned to produce 535 jets in 2009, cancellations had dropped the company’s most recently projections to under 300 with mid- to large-size jets taking the biggest hits in the form of order cancellations. While demand for the smaller Cessna Mustang remains good, its lower price point means the company’s profit per unit are also lower. Still, while Cessna sheds jobs and orders, its order backlog remains in the billions while it’s falling.
Cessna held a $13 billion backlog as late as this March, but analysts predict the company could drop more than 150 orders from its books before August. That would purge billions and in one quarter drop the $13 billion backlog closer to $10 billion.