Aug. 16–About 330 Jet Aviation St. Louis employees are expected to lose their jobs at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia in the coming months, as parent company General Dynamics plans to discontinue the plane finishing work that Jet Aviation performs, company officials said Tuesday.
Virgina-based General Dynamics plans to move another subsidiary, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., into the Cahokia airport, where Jet Aviation once had more than 1,000 employees several years ago.
The Jet Aviation layoffs affect slightly more than half of the current work force, Jet Aviation spokesman Charlie Bosworth said in a prepared statement.
“Jet Aviation regrets this action’s effect on our employees and their families,” Bosworth said in his statement. “Affected employees will receive severance packages that include pay, benefits and employment assistance.
“Jet Aviation has notified employees at its St. Louis facility about a reduction in force due to the discontinuation of completion operations there,” Bosworth said.
The “completion operations” include work for customers who buy a plane from a manufacturer and then contract with Jet Aviation to paint it and install carpeting and avionics.
“The reductions will be implemented in several phases through the first quarter of 2018 as manpower needs change month to month. The first phase will affect approximately 100 employees who are now being notified that they will be laid off the first week of October,” Bosworth said.
Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream will operate an airplane maintenance, repair and overhaul service at the Cahokia airport, and Jet Aviation employees will be transferring to Gulfstream to continue this line of work, company officials said.
Heidi Fedak, a spokeswoman for Gulfstream, said the Cahokia site will be the company’s ninth service center in the United States.
“Adding the St. Louis facility to our network of eight company-owned service centers in the United States responds to the need for additional maintenance and service capacity due to the growing Gulfstream fleet and service business,” Fedak said in a statement. “The St. Louis facility, which is already part of the General Dynamics family, is ideally situated for providing Gulfstream operators a regional maintenance resource.”
Gulfstream builds five models of business jets that range in price from $24.5 million to $68.8 million, and it has more than 15,000 employees, according to the company’s website.
General Dynamics purchased Switzerland-based Jet Aviation in 2008, and it bought Gulfstream in 1999. Last year, General Dynamics reported annual revenue of $31.3 billion. The company does not release revenue figures for either Gulfstream or Jet Aviation individually, but the company’s aerospace division reported revenue of $8.36 billion for last year.
Mike Koziatek: 618-239-2502, @MikeKoziatekBND
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