Collins Aerospace is shifting its Anaheim refrigeration operation to Lenexa, Kansas, in a move that will put an estimated 200 employees out of work.

In a recent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification sent to the state, the company, which makes and services systems for commercial aircraft, said the initial layoff of 155 workers will begin Aug. 21 and be completed within two weeks.

“Additional separations will occur thereafter,” Debbie Nakamura, Collins’ senior manager of human resources, said in the letter to the Employment Development Department. “At this time, it is expected that the refrigeration operation will be closed by April 30, 2021, and that this planned action will be permanent.”

When contacted Tuesday, a Collins representative said the shift is part of the company’s move to consolidate its North American Galley Inserts business to a single location to streamline operations. That involves moving the refrigeration products division at 3355 E. La Palma Ave. in Anaheim to Lenexa where its Beverage Maker Products division is located.

The Galley Inserts line supplies ovens, water heaters, beverage chillers, espresso machines and other appliances that are used in airplane galleys.

“Collins Aerospace is committed to working closely with employees impacted by the change to ensure a successful transition,” the company said in a statement.

Industry challenges

Collins’ move is largely a matter of logistics. But recent news reports show the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the global airline industry into an unprecedented crisis as airline bookings plummet in response to increased safety regulations and restrictions on business travel.

A May 20 report from Forbes indicated more than 70% of the world’s aviation fleet had been grounded at the time. Of the 27,500 aircraft in service at the beginning of 2020, less than 7,500 were still flying. 

Industry experts say the in-service fleet is not likely to top 27,000 again until the end of 2022 at the earliest. Meanwhile, aerospace companies face an inventory pile-up of unwanted aircraft that were ordered before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, and that may take up to five years to work through.

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Some company data

A Raytheon Technologies company, Collins Aerospace makes products that serve commercial and business aviation and the military and defense industry. Other products include network communications that keep trains on the track, life rafts and life support systems that keep sailors safe and security and monitoring systems.

Raytheon Technologies employs 195,000 workers and has four divisions — Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense. The company was formed in early 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Co. and the United Technologies Corp. aerospace businesses. The company is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.



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