Bell Helicopter’s decision to cut 1,100 jobs from its global workforce will not affect the company’s plans to hire 115 employees at a helicopter assembly plant now under construction at Lafayette Regional Airport, a company official said Tuesday.
The job cuts at Bell were announced Tuesday, along with disappointing first-quarter financial results.
David Sylvestre, director of communication for Bell parent company Textron Inc., said Bell would follow through with plans to manufacture its mid-size 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter in Lafayette.
The Lafayette plant, located on 14.5 acres of airport-owned land near U.S. 90, remains under construction.
“In spite of the softening medium helicopter market, we have 350 orders for the 505 Jet Ranger X and are still projected to meet our production targets,” Sylvestre said.
“This week’s announcement for reductions in force for Bell Helicopter’s global operations will not change our plans for our Lafayette facility or prevent us from meeting our commitments to Louisiana for hiring and local spending,” he said from Textron’s Providence, Rhode Island headquarters.
Bell, one of nine Textron Inc. divisions, has 8,700 employees worldwide.
Sylvestre said most of the 1,100 job cuts would be at manufacturing plants in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Texas, and in Mirabel, Québec.
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