Pilatus To Resume Full Working Schedules
In a hopeful sign, Pilatus said it will return to full work schedules by February 1. The company reduced working hours at its main plant in Switzerland in September, mainly for aircraft production staff, because of a lower order intake for the PC-12NG turboprop single. Overall, working hours were reduced by 13 percent, although there were no layoffs. Pilatus has since received an order for 25 PC-21 trainers from the United Arab Emirates, and company chairman Oscar Schwenk now expects demand for the PC-12 to firm up this year. PC-12 deliveries stood at 97 in 2008; while Pilatus has so far not revealed full 2009 figures, they are estimated to be close to 2008 shipments since outputs for the first three quarters of both years are comparable. Pilatus has not yet revealed production plans for this year, although its backlog for PC-21s and PC-12NGs makes a drastic reduction unlikely. The Americas still remain the main market for the PC-12.