Piper Aircraft has decided to shut down operations for one week in May and another week in June, in addition to closings of one week in April and one in July, which were announced earlier, said company spokesman Mark Miller on Feb. 24. The shutdowns will be without pay and will affect all employees, from executive management to hourly manufacturing employees, he said.
Miller pointed out that the most recent General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) report on aircraft deliveries said that the general aviation market has continued to deteriorate, world-wide, driven by weakness in the economy, the inability of customers to obtain financing, and increases in new and used aircraft inventory.
“We realize and regret the impact that this has on our employees and are doing everything possible to preserve the 650 jobs Piper continues to provide,” Miller said. “Piper is focused on taking all necessary actions to weather the current downturn in such a way that we will be positioned for growth when the economy improves,” he explained. “These actions will help support the company’s ongoing operations by facilitating a reduction of raw material and finished goods inventory, focusing on expense control, and providing the company an opportunity to determine how President Obama’s new stimulus package will impact the market. While we are pleased that the President’s stimulus package contains a provision for bonus depreciation and feel that will help facilitate a market recovery, we are still deeply concerned about high inventory levels of new and used aircraft, lack of available credit and the over-all continued decline in consumer confidence,” he commented.
“Although no one can predict how long this recession will last or how deep it will go, we believe that Piper’s focus should be on preserving as many jobs as possible while continuing to dedicate ourselves to building aircraft of the finest quality and the most exacting safety standards of any within General Aviation,” he concluded.