General Dynamics said plummeting sales of business and personal jets have forced it to cut production of the luxury planes, leading to layoffs of 1,200 workers and a reduction in company profit guidance for the year. The Falls Church company blamed a shrinking backlog at its Gulfstream Aerospace unit as a drop in demand accelerated in February as the broader economic picture grew bleaker.Another factor in the decline - Washington Elites' condemnation of anyone ever seen boarding a private jet. Except themselves. And except for their friends. And except for their power brokers.
Business jets are mostly used to ferry corporate executives or wealthy individuals in plush cabins with cushy seats and wood-paneled interiors. Many models are pricey -- General Dynamics' new G650 will sell for around $60 million. But demand has hit a wall in recent months, and the planes face a public relations challenge after becoming equated with corporate excess.It is exactly like the "good old days" when Capitol Hill Democrats tried to soak the rich by slapping a luxury tax on yachts which, without surprise, resulted in about 25,000 people who built the yachts losing their jobs.