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StandardAero cuts staff as pandemic slows air travel

Vector Aerospace in Slemon Park
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A major employer in Summerside has laid off an undisclosed number of employees.

Standard Aero is an international maintenance, repair and overhaul provider with a facility in Slemon Park, Summerside.

“Due to overall declines in work volumes resulting from the COVID-19 impacts, StandardAero’s Summerside, P.E.I., facility is adjusting its workforce to match specific customer and market needs. Any impacted employee will receive severance benefits,” said a written statement from the company.

The statement said StandardAero has been managing costs all year as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a downturn in commercial aviation that impacted the business.

The company’s efforts have included reducing overtime, encouraging vacation use, eliminating spending on capital projects, eliminating all discretionary spending, managing attrition/retirements, releasing subcontractors, instituting furloughs and unpaid leave of absence programs and conducting minimal and selective workforce reductions to align with reduced volumes.

“We are not announcing or publishing any specific numbers. We are adjusting our workforce, as needed, to ensure capacity meets demand and have no additional commentary,” said the statement.

In Summerside, Coun. Justin Doiron said he learned of the cuts on Thursday.

“It’s huge. I was just a kid at the time, but it gives you flashbacks to when the base closed,” said Doiron.

StandardAero employs around 6,400 people at more than 40 facilities around the world, said the company’s website.

Doiron said he heard the Slemon Park operation is the seventh-largest of the facilities.

“It’s definitely going to affect families. You don’t have to reach very far to find someone who’s going to be affected.”

Doiron added Mayor Basil Stewart is working hard to learn more from local StadardAero representatives and from head office.

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