Bombardier Aerospace will temporarily cease production of the Learjet 60XR later this year due to flagging demand for the $13.71 million eight-passenger twinjet, the company announced to employees at its Wichita facility late last week. Though the “production pause” will start late in the fourth quarter, “We will continue delivering Learjet 60XRs into 2013 and we will be honoring all orders for the airplane,” a Bombardier spokeswoman told AIN.
Despite objections from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York today approved Hawker Beechcraft’s motion to enter into exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing Co. The proposed deal was announced early last week, but required a judge’s approval to proceed.
Reactions have been heavily mixed in the wake of Monday night’s announcement that Superior Aviation of Beijing, China, has agreed to acquire financially troubled Hawker Beechcraft, minus its Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC) division, for $1.79 billion. The majority of business aviation analysts contacted by AIN believe the Chinese firm is overpaying for the Wichita, Kansas-based aircraft manufacturer, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Reactions have been mixed in the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Superior Aviation of Beijing, China, has agreed to acquire financially troubled Hawker Beechcraft, minus Hawker Beechcraft Defense Co. (HBDC) for $1.79 billion. “I have no idea why Hawker Beechcraft would be worth $1.8 billion without its defense side,” Teal Group vice president of aerospace analysis Richard Aboulafia told AIN. “Given the money needed to reorganize, that’s a very high price.”
Late last night, Hawker Beechcraft announced that China-based Superior Aviation Beijing Co. has signed an “exclusivity agreement” to buy the whole U.S. aircraft manufacturer, minus its defense business. Hawker Beechcraft filed for U.S. Chapter 11 reorganization in May and just last week outlined a framework to exit this protection by year-end. Part of this plan included a potential sale, which is now the likely outcome.
Government officials, Bombardier Aerospace executives and other stakeholders broke ground yesterday on a $56 million, one-million-square-foot expansion at the Learjet Wichita campus.
Spirit AeroSystems’ Wichita employees returned to work en masse today to restart production following successful efforts to restore power and clean debris left by a tornado that tore through the company’s 45-building campus on April 14. Spirit said it intends to work on “quickly ramping back up to full-rate production” now that its workers have returned.
Spirit AeroSystems said it expects its Wichita line employees to return to work next Monday to restart production following efforts to restore power and clean debris left by a tornado that tore through its 45-building campus last weekend.
Wichita-based Mid-Continent Instruments has changed its name to Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics. The company says the new name better describes its capabilities and underscores its commitment to provide general aviation repair facilities with a range of services supporting avionics, instruments and power solutions. Services include custom design, manufacturing, overhaul/exchange and repair. The company’s Van Nuys, Calif. facility provides new instrument sales and instrument overhaul.
Tornadoes that tore through Wichita on Saturday night left a path of destruction at several aircraft manufacturers but thankfully no fatalities. Damage at Hawker Beechcraft was “limited and isolated damage to the roof” of Plant IV, where final assembly of business jets and turboprops is performed, a company spokeswoman told AIN. “There is no effect on operations,” she added. Repair is under way on the building and employees have been reporting for work as scheduled this week.