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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Bell Canada Rehires

COMMERCIAL | MILITARY

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada has rehired 400 of its 500 workers laid off in February. The workers were let go from the company’s plant in Mirabel, Quebec (near Montreal) due to the recession. The orders were there, but customers were asking Bell to delay deliveries due to their own cash flow problems.

"Bell Helicopter temporarily slowed down its commercial production line to adjust to a drop in demand due to worsening economic conditions," explained Eric Cardinali, president of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada. "Responding to our customers, we returned to a more normal pace of operation. We will continue to monitor key indicators and adjust our manufacturing plan as needed to match market demand," he said. In other words, layoffs could occur again should customers resume delaying their orders.

One recent piece of good news: The 24 Bell 407s ordered by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense are being built at Bell Helicopter Textron Canada. Once completed, these will be modified by the U.S. Army to serve as armed scouts.

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