Mooney Furloughs Employees

The future of the legacy manufacturer is at risk once again.

Mooney factory in Kerrville
Workers at the Mooney factory in Kerrville, Texas, were furloughed on Monday.Jon Whittle

It’s been a little more than six years since Mooney was acquired by Meijing Group, a Chinese real estate company. But, this week, the company closed its doors. At this time, there has been no official announcement as to the future of the company. The Kerrville Daily Times announced yesterday that Mooney’s employees were furloughed. With hopes for the future for the employees affected by the shutdown, Kerrville’s Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Walt Koenig told the Daily Times, “I think they will be back.”

Under the Chinese ownership, Mooney International was initially on an aggressive path of reestablishment, and brought its staffing up as high as 300 people, according to the Daily Times. Along with the reopening of the factory in Kerrville, a facility in Chino was established, with a large engineering staff working on improvements and new products. The company attempted to introduce a beautifully designed two-seat airplane, the M10, which would have been built in two versions: a fixed-gear trainer and a retractable, speedy personal version. The airplane continued through flight testing before the project was shelved.

A massive Mooney facility was also established in Zhengzhou, China. At least one Mooney Acclaim was delivered from the factory in 2015, but there was little activity at the facility when Flying visited in 2017.

Since the reopening, Mooney struggled with leadership. After the initial leader, Jerry Chen, was let go in 2016, former Pratt & Whitney executive Vivek Saxena had a short tenure as president and CEO that ended in April 2017. Subsequently, Mooney continued with Executive Director, Albert Li, at the helm.