Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. officials say the company is back in full force, producing three new aircraft a week.
“We made a lot of dramatic moves earlier this year with the objective of increasing our efficiency and strengthening Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corp.,” said President Wan Majid. “Over the past eight to 12 weeks, we’ve made significant improvements to our production processes and tooling and laid a foundation for our future success.”
Nearly all employees who were furloughed in late March are now back at work, according to Chris Redgrave, vp of manufacturing. “Even during the furlough period, many of our employees were essentially doing their homework in anticipation of returning to their jobs,” he said. “We held a couple of voluntary seminars on Lean Manufacturing, which were well attended.”
The returning employees will have plenty to do, added Randy Bolinger, vp of marketing and sales. “We don’t publish sales or backlog figures, but I can safely say that we’re comfortable with the order level of the past few months. We delivered more aircraft during the first quarter than we did during the same period last year and I expect that we’ll continue to see strong sales and deliveries.”
Based in Bend, Ore., Columbia manufactures the Columbia 350 and 400.