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Industrial company Safran Seats to lay off 300 employees in Santa Maria by end of year

Posted at 2:27 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 00:12:44-04

An industrial company specializing in aerospace parts will close one of its Santa Maria factories by the end of the year due to impacts from coronavirus on the airline industry.

Safran Seats confirmed on Friday it notified 300 employees of the decision in May.

A senior executive with Safran Cabin confirmed that the Safran Cabin site in Santa Maria will not be closing. Though it did lay off 58 employees after the pandemic began.

Safran is one of the largest employers in Santa Maria, according to the city.

A statement from the company, which makes cabin interiors for airplanes, said COVID-19 has postponed activity to 2023.

"The aerospace industry is facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic's wide-ranging effects," stated spokeperson Christelle Kinkead in an email. "There has been an 80% reduction in the amount of global air travel, and the impact of this already is being felt throughout the industry.

"The rescheduling of recent contracts due to COVID-19 has resulted in much of our activity being postponed to 2023. Regrettably, our company cannot sustain these significant business impacts, and we are now in the unfortunate position of making major structural adjustments to Safran Seats worldwide."

The Santa Maria facility will close no later than the fourth quarter of 2020.

In April, Safran Cabin informed the state it would furlough and reduce the staff of the 509 employees working at the facility at the time.

That letter stated, "these furloughs and/or reduction in force will continue indefinitely, but furloughs are intended to be temporary and last less than six months."

The company went on to state it was "taking these employment actions because of COVID-19-related business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable."

KSBY reported the company was working on repairing N95 masks for healthcare workers and patients at Marian Regional Medical Center in April.

Correction: The original story stated Safran Cabins was closing. That is incorrect. Safran Seats is the factory that will close. Safran Cabin will not close, according to a senior executive.