FOCUS I 20 Gulfstream and Textron Aviation Gulfstream, which delivered 23 aircraft compared to 34 last year, has also taken strong measures to limit the impact of the Covid-19 on all its employees. The aircraft manufacturer has indicated that it has limited, from the start of the pandemic, «company travel and the number of visitors and people entering the installations». The aircraft manufacturer adds it has put in place «social distancing measures and provided on-site employees with personal protective equipment while increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning of the facilities». Gulfstream also points out that it has encouraged employees to stay at home in case of symptoms and has engaged the services of an infectious disease physician, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, to review all safety measures for its employees. However, the impact on business activities forced Gulfstream to «reduce the number of deliveries planned for 2020» and, more importantly, «implement several cost-cutting measures throughout the company». This reduction includes the elimination of 700 jobs at the Savannah site and the closure of the Las Vegas maintenance center. Although production has slowed down, it remains operational, in accordance with the directives imposed by the American president via ICAR - Security’s Cyber & Industrial Security Agency. Indeed, these measures impose a «special responsibility» on the so-called «vital» industries, including aeronautics, to maintain a normal work schedule during the global COVID-19 epidemic. During this period,Gulfstream is continuing the G700 flight tests at a sustained pace which has enabled the program to reach more than 100 flight hours and has enabled the aircraft manufacturer to start the cabin layout of the first pre-production aircraft. Faced with the same administrative rigors as the Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer, Textron Aviation also had to furlow 7,000 employees across the United States on unpaid leave in mid-March. The implementation of sanitary measures and a reorganization of the industrial tool have nevertheless enabled Textron to deliver 93 aircraft (compared to 124 in 2019) including 20 business jets. The most significant drop in production concerns the Citation Latitude, which was down 50% compared to the same period last year. Industrial Safeguards Dassault remains more evasive, indicating only that it has slowed down the pace, having to implement the necessary sanitary measures on the production lines. The aircraft manufacturer remains confident, however, and will continue to develop the Falcon 6X program for a first flight, still scheduled for early 2021. The same goes for Embraer, who has remained relatively silent on the measures taken to deal with the Coronavirus. On the other hand, the first quarter was equal to last year with 11 aircraft delivered, including three Praetor 600s. Honda Aircraft, which delivered the same number of aircraft as last year (7 units), points out that it had difficulty delivering the aircraft to its international customers due to the introduction of quarantine and travel restrictions. The aircraft manufacturer says deliveries of new aircraft to China are still pending due to U.S. flight and travel restrictions. Like other manufacturers, Honda Aircraft has implemented several measures in all its facilities to mitigate the potential risk of Covid-19, in accordance with the directives of U.S. and world health authorities.
However, the manufacturer suspended production of the HondaJet Elite until early May to ensure the safety of employees at the manufacturing site but also «due to an anticipated drop in market demand due to the economic impact». While the manufacturer concedes, «that it may take at least a year for the situation to recover,» it remains positive for the period after Covid-19. Indeed, Honda announces that it has received new purchase requests, due to the current circumstances not only for some owners and some companies, but also configured for medical evacuation missions. In this area the PC-24 holds the line and Pilatus appears to be getting through the crisis without too much turbulence. With 17 aircraft delivered compared to 18 in 2019 during the same period, the aircraft manufacturer benefits from a substantial order book in the field of training aircraft with its PC-21 but also from the popularity of its twinengine aircraft. Despite the promising outlook at the beginning of the year, however, the figures have been revised downwards. Pilatus took swift and appropriate measures to deal with the situation, including the introduction of short-time work for a large number of employees. Pilatus reported at the beginning of May that less than 20% of employees were still affected by this measure, adding that as supply chains are still disrupted, «a continuous reassessment of the situation is necessary.» Faced with the consequences of the pandemic, Daher stated on 19 March that it «had to resolve to suspend TBM production until further notice» and put in place appropriate health measures on site. As a result, the Tarbes-based manufacturer delivered only 4 aircraft in the first quarter compared to 15 last year. In addition to its activity as a manufacturer, Daher equipment manufacturer and subcontractor for manufacturers such as Airbus or Gulfstream, must also cope with the drop in production of the latter. The coming months could therefore be difficult for the group. Solidaires In spite of the crisis and the difficulties that it generates, many manufacturers have wished to participate in the collective effort of the medical world and governments. Gulfstream has donated supplies and made financial contributions to hospitals and nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the VIDC-19 pandemic. Dassault is also not to be outdone: in addition to its contribution to the Resilience mission with the loan of two Falcon aircraft to the armed forces, the manufacturer has provided 60 meals a day to the Foch hospital in Suresnes, France, for the nursing staff and supplied 700 protective visors made in 3D printing for various French national and regional institutions. The St Cloud-based aircraft manufacturer has also participated with many professionals from the business aviation sector in the transport of healthcare personnel through Aviation Sans Frontières. As such, Daher had placed two TBMs and pilots on standby from its site in Tarbes. Ultimate Jet I 21
Sylvie DARNAUDET President 25 YEARS