Hawker chief tells employees to expect additional layoffs

Hawker Beechcraft (October 18, 2010)
Hawker Beechcraft (October 18, 2010) The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA — Hawker Beechcraft's top executive warned employees today that more layoffs are coming.

In a letter sent to employees, CEO Bill Boisture said the market for Hawker's airplanes in general, business and military aviation are expected to remain tough for the foreseeable future. The European debt crisis, slowing growth in China and a pullback in defense spending in the U.S. and internationally are among the reasons for a disappointing market outlook, he said in the letter.

"The combination of these factors brings us to a decision to continue to resize and align our company to a market that is projected, for the next two years, to remain small relative to past markets and which projects modest growth rates beyond that time," Boisture said in the letter.

He said the layoffs will affect all levels of the company and affected workers will receive a 60-day notice on Nov. 11.

"We will continue to work hard to transform our business through major shifts in work, changes in process and focus on first-time quality," Boisture said in the letter. "We are making good progress, as we must, to be efficiently competitive in a smaller future market."

A Hawker spokeswoman said the company does not have a specific number of employees who will be affected. She also said company officials would not comment further on Boisture's letter.

The letter follows the issuance of 60-day layoff warnings this week to 100 Wichita employees and to one Salina employee, according to a filing with the Kansas Department of Labor.

The notices were the most recent since Sept. 30, when the company issued 60-day warnings to 13 Wichita workers. So far this year, the company has issued 459 layoff notices, according to the labor department.