ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s Eclipse Aerospace confirms it has laid off a significant number of employees at its New Mexico aircraft factory. The company would not specify an exact number, but several employees were seen Friday morning carrying out personal effects in boxes.
Eclipse Senior Vice-President Ed Lundeen blames the layoffs on the economy, especially the general aviation segment.
“This is a function of market conditions and our efforts to reduce costs of the company,” Lundeen said. “As a result of these cost reductions we are going through a restructuring at the present time to insure the long term viability of this company.”
Eclipse had recently reduced its production schedule and was still struggling to find buyers of its light jet, the twin-engine Eclipse 550.
One employee laid off this morning who preferred not to give his name said, “I’m not too dismayed by it, because the economy itself is somewhat in a tizzy right now. It was a pleasure to work for Eclipse and I hope to be back,” he added.
Lundeen said Eclipse will continue to manufacture planes and staff its service centers around the country, just at a slower pace and with a smaller staff.
“We’re very hopeful that when the economy recovers, and we start selling more aircraft that we will post positions for restaffing,” Lundeen said. “And we hope that these employees that were laid off today will reapply to come back to work for us.”
Albuquerque’s Economic Development Director Gary Oppedahl issued this statement Friday regarding the Eclipse news;
“We need to diversify our economy, those efforts have led to recruiting world-class businesses like Eclipse. Like many successful companies, it is incumbent upon them to flex to the demands of the market. It is our understanding that Eclipse has a plan to reabsorb staff, once their market conditions improve. In our agreement with Eclipse they only receive rental discounts when they are actively hiring. We anticipate they are still on track to hire 100 people, for a total of 275 employees, by December of 2015, as that is part of our contractual agreement with them.”