AAR To Close Duluth Facility, 275 Jobs To Go

Credit: Aviation Week

U.S. maintenance provider AAR plans to close its facility at Duluth, Minnesota by late July following a decrease in work related to the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

AAR says it was informed by a primary customer that due to the global industry downturn, the facility will receive no new maintenance projects at the site “for the foreseeable future.” 

Once the facility closes its doors, around 275 staff will lose their jobs, AAR says. The company says 238 of these employees were placed on furlough schemes in mid-April as the steep decline in air travel led to reduced aircraft maintenance workloads. Staff were informed of the decision to permanently close the facility last week.

The move to shut down the Duluth International Airport site, which AAR opened in 2012 after its previous occupation by Northwest Airlines, represents a step change after the company renewed its lease with the Duluth Economic Development Authority for a further 20 years last year.  

At the 188,000 sq.ft facility, AAR specialized in Airbus and Boeing narrowbody airframes across six support shops and held capacity for up to four narrowbodies at a time. 

The AAR announcement is the latest in a series of job losses affecting the aftermarket due to COVID-19, with cuts across the service units of OEMs, airline maintenance divisions and MRO providers. In the past few weeks, the likes of Air New Zealand have announced cuts to its maintenance division numbering 300 jobs as part of plans to downsize.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.