Gulfstream workforce hit by shrinking orders

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Shrinking orders and weakening demand for its business jets caused by the deepening global economic crisis has forced Gulfstream to lay off 1,200 workers - 12% of its workforce - across the USA.

"As a result of deterioration in the backlog, particularly during the month of February, and continued weak demand, Gulfstream has found it necessary to cut large-cabin aircraft production and green aircraft deliveries from a projected rate of 94 to 73 in 2009," says Nicholas Chabraja, chairman of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics. "Gulfstream also will reduce production of its midsize aircraft from a projected rate of 30 to 24 aircraft this year," he adds.

Hefty job cuts are becoming an all too familiar picture at business aviation manufacturers, which have been hit hard by the financial meltdown. Cessna is cutting more than 4,000 jobs and Hawker Beechcraft 2,800 to keep pace with falling production rates. Brazilian airframer Embraer is slashing its workforce by 20% and cutting production this year by 28 aircraft to 242 airliners and business jets.