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Hawker Beechcraft Corporation was an American aircraft manufacturing company headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, United States. The company was the one who built the Hawker and Beechcraft business airline that offers business and private jet services since 2006.
The history of the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation started when Raytheon merged the Raytheon Corporate Jet Units and Beechcraft Corporation – an American manufacturer of military and general aviation aircraft, including the aircraft that offers private jet services. The merging of the two corporations happened in September 1994.
The Beechcraft Corporation became Raytheon’s subsidiary in the early 1980s. Raytheon purchased the British Aerospace Corporate Jets in August 1993 and renamed it as Raytheon Corporate Jets. The following year, both were merged and formed the corporation that showcased the Hawker Siddeley and Hawker Aircraft’s series.
In 2002, the National Business Aviation Association marketed the Hawker Beechcraft brands that resulted in Raytheon’s announcement about the return of the two brands.
In July 2006, Raytheon announced to sell his aircraft manufacturing business because he wanted to focus on his core defense-related business. The Cerberus Capital Management, the Onex Corporation, and the Carlyle Group were the three bidders at that time.
Raytheon Aircraft Company was purchased by the Onex Partners and the GS Capital Partners in October 2006. They renamed the aircraft company as Hawker Beechcraft Inc. and operated under the name Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.
In just one year, the company was able to expand their efforts overseas. They opened a new aerospace manufacturing facility in Chihuahua, Mexico on October 25, 2007.
In January 2009, the company needed to reduce the number of employees at its facility in Wichita, Kansas. Two months after, Jim Schuster, the company’s CEO, announced that another 2,300 employees will be removed within the year. This is due to the minimal number of aircraft orders brought about by the late-2000s recession.
In August 2009, the company needed to lay-off another 300 employees. The following month, another laid offs were made. There was a total of 3, 553 laid-off employees since October 2008.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation went through a serious financial crisis that resulted in having an outstanding debt of US$2.14 billion, as of September 2011.
In February 2012, Steve Miller was appointed as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He indicated that he would work really hard to avoid bankruptcy. In March 2012, the company was able to find a way to somehow resolve some of their financial struggles, and that was when they entered a deal for $120m of interim.
However, the deal did not work well that resulted in the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This happened on May 3, 2012, when they laid off another group of employees in April.
A month after the company filed for bankruptcy, they filed court documents with outlined plans to emerge from bankruptcy. In July 2012, they accepted the purchase offer for US$1.79 billion by the Superior Aviation Beijing of The People’s Republic of China. However, negotiations had failed that made the company decide to have their exit bankruptcy. This happened on February 19, 2013, under the new name, Beechcraft Corporation.