Cirrus Aircraft notified its employees of continued strong demand for its entire product line and of the associated increase in its new aircraft production rate to eight (8) aircraft per week. Increased staffing requirements were communicated precipitating upcoming callbacks of some previously furloughed employees at both its Duluth, MN and Grand Forks, ND production facilities. Today's announcement follows a similar communication of late April '09 when new aircraft production was increased to six (6) aircraft per week, yet staffing increases were not required at that time.
Several indicators support the company's positive outlook. In contrast to other reported general aviation industry trends, Cirrus Aircraft has seen consistent growth in new aircraft orders over the past 120 days, with stronger order rates consistently outpacing production output over that timeframe. Equally notable are the sources of the new orders. Domestic and international retail demand, as well as both U.S. and global institutional demand, are each playing a contributory role. Cirrus Certified™, its pre-owned aircraft sales division, is seeing similar increased sales activity with used aircraft inventory levels showing increasing signs of stabilization.
Pat Waddick, Executive Vice President of Operations, communicated the news to all Cirrus employees. "We are extremely pleased with continuing stronger sales trends that began in the first quarter. Unlike the recent change to six (6) aircraft per week, today's change to eight (8) per week will take somewhat longer to implement due to required staffing increases and the commensurate impact on vendor lead times. We recognize the good news this represents to many furloughed members of the Cirrus family and we are moving as quickly as possible to determine the needed skill sets and to call those folks back to work."
Brent Wouters, President and CEO, noted the company's progress while maintaining a very disciplined and focused approach. "All Cirrus Aircraft partners - our customers, our employees, our vendors, and our ownership team - can take a measure of pride in these early results of our diligence and cooperation. The marketplace is responding to and validating the strength of our product line and the high quality and value inherent in our latest models. The recently announced 'Flight Into Known Icing' certification for SR22 and TURBO models and Cirrus Perspective by Garmin™ integrated avionics suites across the product lineup are just two of the newer features that are catalyzing demand."
Wouters continued, "At the same time, much hard work remains through this year and into next as we continue to navigate through a very challenging period. While today's news is certainly reason for optimism and clearly another step in the right direction, we will maintain our determined approach and continue to make any adjustments necessary as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Cirrus Aircraft expects that the new production rate will positively affect in excess of fifty (50) furloughed employees across all facilities in coming weeks.