A terrible trio of bad news: Layoffs at Cessna, Beechcraft and Piper

A superstition commonly shared says that bad news comes in groups of three. Today, in the realms of business and general aviation, one has to wonder if that folklore also applies to layoffs.

Piper Aircraft announced yesterday that it would furlough 60 workers at its Florida facility. That consists of 6 percent of the company’s workforce, according to a local news report. Piper officials cited a lapse in aircraft orders as key in shrinking its labor pool.

The move comes right after similar announcements of 700 layoffs at Cessna and 350 layoffs at Hawker Beechcraft.

Hawker Beechcraft officials said, although orders are flat, they do not foresee large-scale reductions among hourly employees.

Cessna said its cuts manifested because orders for business jets have yet to meet projections. The company has cut the number of jobs on its payroll in Wichita nearly in half during the past two years of economic downturn, according to local news reports there.

Surely not all news is bad news. Read past the jump to find possible silver linings to this cloud. [more]

Despite the trimming, the current round of cuts will leave Piper with 830 employees, up more than one third from 580 employees a year ago.

In addition, the announcement came on the same day that the NBAA and other aviation groups applauded the passage of a small business law that, in part, allows credits on aircraft purchases and upgrades.

If bad news can come in threes, then perhaps good fortunes could bring a trifecta of positivity around the next bend.

What has business been like for your company this year compared to 2009? Are things better? Worse? Or slow but the same? Share your perspective in the comments below.