News

Jabiru maker spirals down

REGO DILEMMA: Jabiru Business manager Sue Woods is frustrated due to registration delays. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
REGO DILEMMA: Jabiru Business manager Sue Woods is frustrated due to registration delays. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

THE high Australian dollar and competition from other manufacturers is causing serious damage to Bundaberg-based aircraft producer Jabiru.

Business manager Sue Woods said Jabiru used to employ 25 people, but that was down to about 16.

Where it once operated two assembly lines, there was now one.

When Jabiru started out about 20 years ago, the aircraft was one of a kind in the aviation industry.

But Ms Woods said there were now about 100 companies competing with them worldwide.

And because of the high Australian dollar, Jabiru was having difficulty matching prices.

"When the Australian dollar was 70 cents against the US dollar we used to sell planes like hot cakes," she said.

"There's a lot of factors against us (now)."

Ms Woods said when the exchange rate was in Jabiru's favour the company would sell about 10 kits and 10 built aircraft a month.

"Now we're lucky if we get one a month out the door," she said.

Ms Woods said tough financial times around the world were also having an effect.

"Boys' toys are just not top of the shopping list any more," she said.

"Last year was pretty dismal. We've got to see how this year turns out."

The price of Jabirus starts at about $56,000, with the top of the range costing $95,000.

Buyers also usually add about $10,000 worth of accessories.

Despite the difficulties, Ms Woods said there was no prospect of the Jabiru operation closing down completely.

There are about 800-1000 Jabiru flying worldwide.

"There are a lot of aircraft out there that need support," Ms Woods said.

"There's a healthy need for spare parts out there."

CQUniversity senior lecturer in aviation Ron Bishop said it was sad to see Jabiru in difficulties.

"When they started they were trendsetters," he said.

"But last year Cessna came out with a model to compete with them."

Mr Bishop said before Jabiru started up it would have been very expensive to buy an aircraft.

"When Jabiru started it meant upper average income earners could own an aircraft," he said.
 

Topics:  australian dollar, jabiru




Latest deals and offers

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

Housing market going strong as units face tougher times

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”