Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Had a drink in a bar in Wichita today. The waitress was talking about her two jobs. During the day, she sells print advertising in a business-to-business magazine aimed at new and used car dealers. Three nights a week she pours beer and serves burgers. In her words, she's "…sucking up this recession twice".

When things were good, about thirty shift workers from Cessna called in for a drink. Now only two turn up. Depending on your source for the numbers, Cessna has reduced its workforce by either 50% or 57%. Either number is frightening. Hawker Beechcraft, also based in Wichita, has been hit even harder.

The waitress says that she's down $600 a month in tips; Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Learjet and many other aviation companies in the area are down a lot more.

Next week, the GAMA figures for 2009 are out, it's a sort of end of year health report for aviation, and no-one is expecting it to be pretty.

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