Textron Aviation laid off some of its workers on Thursday.
An official of the Wichita-based parent of Beechcraft and Cessna would not say how many employees were affected.
“I can confirm a small number of employees have been impacted by reductions today,” Rosa Lee Argotsinger, Textron Aviation’s communications director, said in an e-mail Thursday.
She said in the e-mail that the layoffs were the result of “aligning resources to meet business needs.”
Thursday’s layoffs follows Textron Aviation’s September plans to offer early retirement for an unspecified number of employees companywide as well as the closings of airplane service centers in Atlanta and New Castle, Del.
Aviation forecaster Rolland Vincent thinks the layoffs and early retirements are likely related to adjustments in production rates of some Cessna Citation jet models, especially the Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign and the Citation X+.
“They’re struggling to sell some of their products,” Vincent said. “On the good news side, the Latitude (Cessna’s newest production Citation) is selling well.
“In contiguous spaces, the ones right next to it (the Latitude), they’re probably not (selling well).”
Vincent said it’s a “very, very challenging time” for pricing of new and used jets and manufacturers aren’t getting the prices they want on sales of new jets, which in turn is squeezing their profit margins.
Vincent’s firm, JetNet iQ, is forecasting new jet deliveries to be flat to a “little negative” through the remainder of this year and through 2017 and 2018.