Belgian aeroplane manufacturer Sonaca Aircraft has decided to stop the production of its S200 aircraft and refocus on services and after-sales. The company has committed to continue employing all staff.

The Board of Directors of Sonaca decided to stop the loss-making activities of the firm last month. However, financing has been granted in order to fulfill all its obligations and to facilitate the continuity of essential support activities for customers such as services and after sales.

Sonaca CEO Yves Delatte said, “the cessation of Sonaca Aircraft’s production activities is a necessary decision. The Covid-19 pandemic, which will globally impact the aviation sector until 2025, has strongly affected general aviation, especially activities related to pilot training and education.” The pandemic resulted in an order level well below the break-even point for the company. However, Sonaca will not entirely quit the aviation industry: “We have to focus all our strengths on our expertise in aerostructure, where Sonaca aims to become world leader by 2025,” explained Delatte.

Global delivery data show that single- engine piston deliveries actually remained stable during the pandemic, driven primarily by a belief among flying schools that a rebound would come soon. However, Sonaca was among the manufacturers that appears to have been hit by a decline in business during the Covid-19 period.

Image: Keith Wilson