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Monday, February 6, 1995 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Business Digest

Mcdonnell Douglas May Halt MD-11 Work, Paper Reports

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

NEW YORK - McDonnell Douglas Corp. may temporarily halt production of its largest airliner, the MD-11, in 1996 due to a severe shortage of orders for the 300-seat airplane, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Company executives emphasized that they are working to avert a shutdown, which could mean temporary layoffs for thousands of workers and cast doubt on the future of the MD-11 program, the report said.

Without new orders for the three-engine jet, St. Louis-based McDonnell Douglas may deliver as few as 10 next year, the newspaper said, citing industry officials.

The MD-11 is manufacturered at the company's 10,000-worker factory in Long Beach, Calif. That facility also produces the smaller MD-80 and MD-90. The company won't say how many people are employed making each type of jet.

Herbert Lanese, the company's chief financial officer, told the Journal that a decision on halting MD-11 production for as much as half of 1996 will have to be made within five months.

Harry Stonecipher, McDonnell Douglas' new chief executive, said the situation is serious, in part because of unexpected delays in finalizing a Saudi Arabian order considered pivotal to 1996

production.

Copyright (c) 1995 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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