Bombardier Eliminating 1,360 Jobs

Canada's Bombardier Aerospace says it is cutting 4.5 percent of its work force; job cuts are expected to include 1,010 temporary workers and about 350 permanent employees.

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada's Bombardier Aerospace said Thursday it is cutting 1,360 jobs, or about 4.5 percent of its work force, to deal with a drop in orders for business jets.

The world's third-largest maker of commercial aircraft said the cuts come as the company decreases Learjet and Challenger production in response to flagging demand.

The Montreal-based company said it expects to face more challenges throughout 2009 amid weak market conditions.

The job cuts are expected to include 1,010 temporary workers and about 350 permanent staff members.

Layoffs will take place at facilities in Montreal; Wichita, Kan.; and Belfast, Ireland.

Bombardier said it hopes to offset the layoffs by hiring more than 800 permanent employees for some of its new aircraft projects.

"These are very challenging times," Guy Hachey, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace, said in a news release. "The decision to reduce our work force was difficult to make and we fully recognize the impact it will have on our affected workers."

Hachey said the industry is facing "strong turbulence and we anticipate more volatility in the short term."

The global aircraft sector has been hit hard by the recession, which has squeezed jet orders from major airlines. As well, the market for corporate jets has been hurt by the economic slump and the credit crunch, which has made it more expensive for companies to finance the purchase of corporate jets.

In the United States, companies have also shied away from buying corporate jets recently after public criticism that such spending would be inappropriate during a recession when tens of thousands of people are being laid off each month.

Last week, global aircraft maker Boeing Co. announced it plans to cut 10,000 jobs as the Chicago-based company faces weaker air traffic and pressure on military budgets.

Earlier, Cessna Aircraft Co., a maker of corporate jets, said it plans to lay off another 2,000 workers, about 13 percent of its workforce

Bombardier shares fell by more than 3 percent to 3.49 Canadian dollars ($2.84) in monring trading Thursday in Toronto.

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