Schneller LLC, a maker of plastic aerospace laminates, is laying off almost 50 workers at its plant in Kent, Ohio.
In a May 21 worker adjustment and retraining notification filing, officials with Kent-based Schneller said that the indefinite layoffs began May 18.
"Over the coming weeks, we will be evaluating our current business circumstances to determine the number of employees we will need to continue to operate our business at levels that are below what we had forecasted as a result of the COVID-19 crisis," they said.
This evaluation will allow Schneller to determine how many employees will be permanently laid off, officials added. Global air travel has plummeted worldwide as a result of COVID-19.
Worldwide flight demand in the second quarter is expected to be down more than 80 percent in the second quarter of the year, according to the International Air Transport Association. Airline industry revenue for full-year 2020 is expected to be down more than $300 billion, according to the trade group.
Schneller officials could not be reached for comment. In a March 27 statement on its website, updated April 20, Schneller said that it had been designated an essential manufacturing business by the state of Ohio and was allowed to continue operating in Kent.
Officials said in the statement that production shifts in Kent remained fully staffed at that time. They added that precautions had been taken to ensure employee safety, including improved cleanliness and social distancing. Schneller also was maintaining normal lead times and daily shipments.
Schneller is a unit of aerospace supplier TransDigm Group Inc. of Cleveland, which has owned Schneller since 2011. Schneller makes highly engineered laminates and non-textile flooring for use on side walls, lavatories, galleys, bulkheads and cabin floors in commercial jets. The firm is a preferred or sole supplier to key aerospace customers.
On its website, Schneller describes itself as a global leader in flexible film laminates, formable decorative thermoplastics and non-textile flooring products for commercial aircraft.
Cleveland-based TransDigm paid $289 million for Schneller in 2011. At that time, the firm had annual sales of $84 million and operated plants in Kent; Pinellas Park, Fla.; Paris and Singapore. Schneller opened in 1964 when founder John Schneller developed a vinyl-coated fiberglass cloth to provide a durable headliner for Douglas C3 aircraft.