Diamond Aircraft Layoffs
This week, Diamond Aircraft Industries (Canada) (DAI-C) issued a short press release indicating that there have been layoffs of employees at that facility. The release was vague, and some press reports have overstated what the Diamond Distributors have been told is the situation, so here is what we know.
On Tuesday, the Distributor principals visited with DAI-C president Peter Maurer via conference call, and he was able to frame the layoffs better for us. Diamond is in the same position that Beech, Cessna, Cirrus, and Piper have been since late 2008: the recession has hurt piston sales in North America significantly, and the production of new aircraft must be brought into line with what the retail and fleet market will absorb.
With that goal in mind, DAI-C has laid off 161 of 212 employees at the Canadian facility. The D-Jet development program has been suspended pending a new investment. The remaining 51 employees will function in production and support of the piston line, and Diamond will continue to produce new aircraft at a reduced rate and to support the more than 2000 Canadian-build aircraft in the fleet.
DAI-C has not sought protection from creditors. This is not a liquidation or bankruptcy action, but rather it is a right-sizing of the workforce to produce new planes at a rate in line with the current retail and fleet market size. Great Lakes Diamond continues to act as a distributor of new Diamond aircraft, and we have deliveries to us scheduled for late March / early April.
As Diamond owners ourselves, we take comfort that warranty, technical, and parts support remain in place, and that the production of new planes will continue – along with some exciting improvements to be announced soon. These are painful but necessary steps that DAI-C must take to manage for the long-term success of the company. Any questions you have may be addressed to Dan or to Andy at GLDAS.