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Textron to cut another 2,100 jobs

Associated Press / April 30, 2009
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WASHINGTON - Textron Inc. will expand its job cuts to include an additional 2,100 positions, or 5 percent of its global workforce, as the recession continues to weaken demand for corporate planes.

The Providence maker of Cessna planes, Bell helicopters, and turf-maintenance equipment announced the latest cuts yesterday, a day after it reported a 63 percent drop in first-quarter earnings. This brings the number of jobs eliminated to about 8,300, or 20 percent of its workforce.

The cuts are deeper than Textron had outlined earlier this year.

Meanwhile, its Wichita, Kan.-based Cessna Aircraft Co. unit said it will lay off 2,300 employees and close its Oregon plant as it tries to restructure its product line amid declining plane orders.

Cessna has already started laying off an initial 1,600 hourly workers across the company. An additional 700 salaried workers will lose their jobs in mid-June.

Cessna has laid off 44 percent of its workforce since the first round of cuts was announced in November. The latest job losses follow 4,600 jobs already cut.

Textron now expects full-year restructuring charges of roughly $75 million, up from its previous estimate of $40 million. The higher charges reflect expected job cuts as demand continues to wane, along with closings of facilities.

The company said it will deliver 290 to 300 Cessna corporate jets this year - a decline from its previous forecast of about 375 aircraft.

Last year, Textron delivered 476 planes. It set a target of delivering 535 in 2009.

Textron's chairman and chief executive, Lewis Campbell, said it will take considerable time before the business-jet market recovers because of the economic downturn.

The company also said it will suspend its Citation Columbus, a large cabin intercontinental business jet.

Cessna delivered 69 jets in the fourth quarter, down from 95 in 2008. It also saw cancellations of 92 net orders in the quarter.