Glasair Aviation, based in Arlington, Washington, has taken what company officials call a “COVID-19 pause.”
“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the US economy, and in the interest of maintaining safety for our staff and our customers, Glasair will pause our sales and manufacturing operations for the third quarter and fourth quarter of this year,” officials said on the company’s website.
While most of the staff has been furloughed, the company will maintain a core team of engineers, technicians, and support personnel to maintain the company’s fleet and facilities, and continue product development.
“Importantly, design and testing for what will become the next-generation Sportsman are already underway and will continue in the third quarter and fourth quarter,” said President Randy Lervold. “Our intent is to introduce them, along with the resumption of production, in 2021.”
When Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive was implemented in March, it forced Glasair to close for two and a half months, he noted.
“While difficult for any business, the pandemic’s implications for our Two-Weeks-To-Taxi builder assist program are pernicious: How can we protect a group of six or more people working in close proximity for two continuous weeks? Even with our comprehensive ‘COVID-19 Playbook’, adapted specifically for Glasair’s manufacturing environment, conscientious mitigation would be problematic and risky,” Lervold explained.
He added that company officials “look forward to offering an improved aircraft and Two-Weeks-to-Taxi builder-assist program as soon as health and economic conditions allow.”
He assures the general aviation community that “Glasair’s foundation remains intact,” but “in order to weather this storm we are choosing a proactive business strategy” with the furloughs and reduced operations.
“We are in unprecedented times and we believe that this proactive strategy, rather than burning through cash in the short term, is our best path for the long run for all of us in the Glasair community,” he said.
He added that “Glasair is, of course, committed to completing all customer aircraft currently in our build queue.”
You can read Lervold’s complete comments here.