Columbia Aircraft has slashed its workforce by around 10% in an attempt to "better align staffing levels with current production needs". The lay-offs will affect 59 of the Bend, Oregon-based company's 605 employees.

While sales and deliveries of Columbia 350 and 400 aircraft reached record levels last year "a chain of unfortunate events" - a six-month certification delay on the Garmin G1000 instrument panel installation and a freak hailstorm which damaged more than 60 aircraft - hampered the company's ability to operate profitably.

"We actually increased our staffing level in the last 18 months in an effort to not only maintain our production of new aircraft at a level that matches our order rate, but also to refinish the aircraft harmed in the hail storm," says Columbia president Bing Lantis. He adds that the company maintains a 90-day backlog of orders

Source: Flight International