Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems lays off workers, citing lower plane delivery rates

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A Boeing 737 MAX-10 lands over the Spirit AeroSystems logo during a flying display at the 54th International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, on June 22, 2023.
Benoit Tessier | Reuters

Aerospace supplier Spirit AeroSystems on Thursday said it will lay off some of its workers because of slower delivery rates on commercial aircraft as it struggles with a slowdown at its biggest commercial airplane customer, Boeing.

Spirit AeroSystems told staff in a memo, reported earlier by Wichita-based KSN, that it would cut about 400 to 450 hourly employees.

“We are committed to implementing this transition in as compassionate a manner as possible,” Spirit AeroSystems said in a statement.

About 12,600 people worked at the Wichita facility as of the end of 2023, according to the company’s annual filing.

Spirit AeroSystems makes fuselages at the plant for Boeing’s bestselling 737 Max plane, deliveries of which have slowed in the wake of a door panel blowout and resulting safety crisis at Boeing.

Last week, Spirit AeroSystems said first-quarter Boeing deliveries decreased 31% from the same period in 2023, and said overall deliveries were down 11.3%.

It reported a quarterly loss of $616.7 million for the first three months of the year. The company has struggled financially in recent years and was last profitable in 2019. 

The company is also in talks to be acquired by Boeing, which it spun off from in 2005. About 70% of Spirit AeroSystems’ revenue last year came from Boeing, although the company also makes parts for Boeing’s rival Airbus.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told CNBC in an interview in April 2024 that it is “more than likely” that the companies reach a deal during the second quarter.

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