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

Vandals trashing riverbank and bridge in CBD

TRASHED: The rubbish-strewn area under Bundaberg's Tallon Bridge where furniture has been burnt.

Man disgusted with behaviour of 'squatters'

Premier opens door for fluoride in Bundy's water

WATER FIGHT: Bundaberg Regional Council's 2013 decision to not go ahead with fluoridation may be revisited.

State Government 'should step in on fluoridation'

New campaign targets complacency on our farms

SAFETY MESSAGE: Leanne Donaldson, Eddy Zaina and Grace Grace at the SnapFresh farm.

Farms have 3% of jobs, 30% of accidents

Local Partners

Rowing a timeless hobby for Bundy ladies

THE 5.30am starts, male competition and physical exertion did little to deter one group of women from rowing to their hearts content in the 60s.

Workshops to show you how to bring puppets to life

STRING SECTION: Two puppet-making workshops will be held in the region.

Ever wanted to know how to make puppets?

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Air-con upgrade for Moncrieff theatre

Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Cooler theatre on the way

The Bachelorette: Courtney too slow for Georgia's love train

Courtney Dober in a scene from The Bachelorette.

FORMER favourite eliminated after introducing Georgia to his family.

Singing ex-diplomat brings Afghanistan war to life

Folk singer Fred Smith's concert draws on his experience as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Fred Smith's regional Queensland tour focuses on the Afghanistan war

Shaynna'a blazing a stylish trail on television

Shaynna Blaze hosts the new TV show Deadline Design.

SHE'S the designer with no less than three shows on ours screens.

Ciara felt "empowered" after losing her baby weight


The 'I Bet' hitmaker was glad to drop the 60 pounds

Kim Kardashian West had tape tied around head in hold-up

Kim Kardashian West

"One of the gang kept telling her to shut up."

Madonna's filthy poll vow to Hillary Clinton supporters


It's probably not the endorsement that Hillary Clinton wanted

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.

Bank could add towns to 'high-risk' home loan list

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

NEW Gladstone region towns could be added unwanted bank list.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb breaching lease

Rental properties.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb is a no no