A year ago Diamond Aircraft laid off more than 200 employees at its London, Ontario, Canada plant, cutting the staff to 40 and prompting other aircraft manufacturers, notably Bombardier, to hire skilled Diamond workers. Now, according to the London Free Press, staffing has reached 130, thanks to diversification that includes manufacturing aviation parts. Its a little better now. We are doing some supply work and we have been able to bring people back who were on layoff, Maurer told the Free Press. We have been able to pick up additional work and sales have improved.
That parts work includes electric harnesses and avionics and Diamond Canada is doing more work for its Austrian parent. The diesel-powered DA-42 assembled in Austria has been a strong seller and that has helped London, Maurer added. Diamond sold 60 planes overall (Austria and Canada plants) in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 34 in the first three months of 2013. The order book in Austria is very good and it is good we are supplying them, Maurer told the Free Press. Meanwhile, the D-Jet personal jet remains on hold. Its not cancelled, its on hold. But we are not doing active development work, Maurer said.