Eclipse Aerospace Announces Layoffs

Production plans for Eclipse 550 reduced as a result of weak sales.

Eclipse 550 Jet

Eclipse 550 Jet

At the end of last week, Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Eclipse Aerospace laid off an undisclosed number of employees, citing a lack of sales. Business at Eclipse appeared to be going well, as the company announced in March when it delivered the first Eclipse 550 twinjet that all delivery positions for 2014 had been filled. Eclipse Aerospace senior vice president Ed Lundeen told Albuquerque Business First that the company has been forced to reduce its production plans, which means fewer hands are needed.

While Eclipse would not say how many people were let go on Friday, the company had more than 200 employees at the time of the layoffs, including those employed at its offices in Charleston, South Carolina, and its service center in Chicago. The city of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico contributed more than $630,000 in December to allow the company to hire new staff. As part of the contract with Albuquerque, Eclipse agreed to hire 100 people by the end of 2015, which would add up to a total number of 275 employees at that time, a statement from Gary Oppedahl, the city's economic development director, said.

However, Oppedahl anticipates that the ailing company will be able to meet its contractual obligations. "It is our understanding that Eclipse has a plan to reabsorb staff, once their market conditions improve," he said.

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