Wichita's Hawker Beechcraft today announced it's cutting its workforce by 5 percent. That will mean close to 500 jobs lost in the Wichita area.
A HBC spokesperson said the economic downturn made the workforce reduction necessary. HBC has had some orders for planes canceled, and they anticipate more customers will put off plans to buy planes.
Company CEO Jim Schuster sent out a letter to all the workers by mail and email. It said, "We are approaching 2009 with extreme caution, as we expect to see eventual erosion in new aircraft orders and deliveries. This could have a serious impact on cash flow, which is the lifeblood of any privately held company like HBC."
HBC has 9,800 employees in Wichita and Salina. The layoffs are expected to come sometime this week. They include both salary and hourly workers.