Poor aircraft shipment figures have fueled speculation that Mahindra Aerospace is looking to off-load GippsAero.
Customer delivery numbers published by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reveal that just one Airvan 8 was sold in the six-month period from October 2019 to March 2020.
There is also no sign that GippsAero has filled an order for an Airvan 10 single-engined turbo-prop that was placed by Botswana operator Major Blue Air in 2018.
Credible industry sources believe that India-based Mahindra Aerospace will close GippsAero perhaps as soon as late August if a deal is not struck with a buyer. Another line of thinking is that Mahindra may be preparing to move the company to a factory built near Bangalore in India, although the company has denied that possibility in the past.
Mahindra bought into the Latrobe Valley manufacturer in 2010 and expanded their holdings over the next 10 years until they owned 100% of the company.
The same sources have told Australian Flying that Mahindra has stopped taking orders for new Airvan 8s and has already laid off staff.
Mahindra Aerospace CEO Aircraft Business Keith Douglas has confirmed that GippsAero shed 25% of its employees at the beginning of June, but attributed it to the impacts of the pandemic.
Douglas declined to comment on the rumours that GippsAero was to completely close.
Australian Flying understands that several companies both here and overseas have approached Mahindra with offers to buy GippsAero, but that the value of the company has been set at a level much higher than potential suitors are willing to pay.
GippsAero was forced to look for an investor during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s after the banks turned off the taps on investment capital. At the time, it is thought the company had around $15 million worth of work, but needed the investment to develop the GA10 and the GA18 Nomad.