DULUTH – Cirrus Aircraft, one of the city's largest employers, will be slowing down operations and putting some employees on furlough.

"The unprecedented health crisis, uncertainty and economic disruption brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly challenging to continue our operations uninterrupted," a company spokesperson said in a statement Friday. "Our priorities are focused on the health and safety of our team members and their families, as well as the long-term well-being of our business."

The number of affected employees was not made available. Cirrus has about 1,000 employees in Duluth.

The furloughs will start Monday and last four weeks, and the company said it will provide "significant benefits, including compensation and health care coverage support."

"This measured plan brings stability while providing employees, suppliers, partners and the company overall the flexibility to respond in the changing environment, while positioning Cirrus for a return to growth soon," the company's statement said.

Cirrus is coming off a record year for sales and delivered 80 of its $2 million SF50 Vision jets last year. Hundreds of customers put down deposits for the personal jet when it was first unveiled several years ago.

Cirrus also has operations in North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas with a total of about 1,600 employees across all four locations.

The company is owned by Chinese Aviation Industry General Aircraft.

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496