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Hawker Beechcraft to close Little Rock location

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published November 7, 2012 at 5:23 p.m.

— Hawker Beechcraft announced the company will be closing three of its facilities, including its operations at Adams Field in Little Rock.

The announcement came in an open letter from Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Miller to the company's employees. In the letter, Miller says that the company will be laying off 240 employees total as it begins to shut down Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) locations in Little Rock, Mesa, Ariz., and San Antonio, Texas.

The letter also states that the company will be reducing its workforce by approximately 170 people between Little Rock and Wichita, Kan.

Employees that will be affected by the closures and reductions will be notified the week of Nov. 12, according to the letter.

HBS spokesperson Nicole Alexander said in an email that the company will not have any further comment beyond the letter. She added that "the company also will not be providing total employee numbers at this time, nor any specific numbers for our various locations."

"While extremely difficult decisions, these closures and reductions in force will get the company closer to what we envision for our go-forward plan that focuses on turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft, as well as our parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses," Miller said in the letter.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Comments on: Hawker Beechcraft to close Little Rock location

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 total comments

RBBrittain says... November 7, 2012 at 5:59 p.m.

Though the quote is unclear, the end of HB's LR plant is not surprising to those of us who've followed it over the last few months. It only mentions the servicing side of the plant, not the Hawker jet modification side; but HB still plans on shutting down Hawker if it doesn't get a buyer. There's still a slim chance someone will buy Hawker and salvage the LR modification line, but that's highly unlikely; it was Hawker that sent HB into bankruptcy in the first place.

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RickyBobby2012 says... November 7, 2012 at 7:38 p.m.

Hawker didn't "Send HBC into bankruptcy".

Pretty obvious if you look at the last 5 or so years.
In 2007 general aviation was forcast for increasing growth
Raytheon wanted to focus on defense, so they sold it to Goldman Sachs / Onyx for $3.3 billion.

Most of that was financed resulting in $125 million or so in interest payments per year.
But no problem, since they are on track to deliver 450 aircraft that year. But then...

The next year in 2008 the economy and markets tanked. People panic and stop spending money.
Deliveries reduce to hardly over 200 aircraft in 2010, all while the union provides a mediocre work force that expects to be compensated like they were God's gift to manufacturing.

Combine all this with the Obama administration consistently singling out business jets in his speechs. Referring to them as something only corporate "fat cat's" use and not realizing they are used by companies of all sizes to promote and grow there company in small communities with little or no airline service.

Now what is Goldman Sachs suppose to do with the HBC? Seems like filing bankruptcy is an easy way to elminate $2.5 billion of debt.

Since the China deal fell through, back to what Walter and Olive Beech did best. Make props. Unfortunately Little Rock suffers (as do Hawker customers).

So, the only winners are Miller, Boisture, Vick, and the SLT team as they collect various bonuses, etc. Oh, and of course the bankruptcy lawyers who must be rolling in the money right now.

So I don't see how the Hawker "sent the company into bankruptcy". Sure, they hadn't been selling towards the end, but what do you expect when HBC didn't make any product updates to an old design. Still a good airplane. Guess it is a good thing the KingAir's do not have as much competition in the twin-turboprop segment. I am just glad I do not own a Hawker 4000 right now. An unreliable $20 million airplane you can't sell, that just had the warranty "dishonored". Good word for it HBC.

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T6 says... November 7, 2012 at 8:40 p.m.

Now all those pink slips Obama made companies hold off on until after the election, will now come to pass.

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isringhou says... November 11, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.

Another example of government out of control. Anti business elements chose to persecute business under their political theory of global warming/co2 and again the working people take the hit. Just like the luxury tax passed a few decades ago to make the wealthy pay more, the workers who made the boats lost their jobs. Every time we persecute one group against another, everyone looses.

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