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Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems to lay off hundreds of workers

By Ehren Wynder
The National Transportation Safety Board announced in January that they had recovered the door plug from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX in Cedar Hills, Ore. Aircraft deliveries have slowed after Boeing implemented stricter inspections to deal with the fallout from that January event. Photo via NTSB/UPI
1 of 2 | The National Transportation Safety Board announced in January that they had recovered the door plug from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX in Cedar Hills, Ore. Aircraft deliveries have slowed after Boeing implemented stricter inspections to deal with the fallout from that January event. Photo via NTSB/UPI | License Photo

May 16 (UPI) -- Boeing parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems said Thursday it will lay off as many as 450 workers due to a slowdown in Boeing plane deliveries.

The Wichita, Kan., manufacturer told staff in a memo obtained by local media that it "made the difficult decision" to reduce its workforce "by approximately 400-450 employees."

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Terry George, senior vice president for Wichita and Tulsa operations, blamed the layoffs on lagging delivery rates for Boeing's 737 Max aircraft.

About 12,600 people worked at the Wichita facility in 2023, according to the company's annual filing.

Spirit AeroSystems spokesperson Joe Buccino said the company will inform affected workers in the coming weeks.

"We are committed to implementing this transition in as compassionate a manner as possible," he said.

Aircraft deliveries have slowed after Boeing implemented stricter inspections to deal with the fallout of a door panel blowout on an Alaskan Airlines plane in January.

Spirit's Wichita plant makes fuselages for Boeing's now infamous 737 Max plane, which has had numerous reported safety issues since the January incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration in an audit of Spirit's quality control said it had found 28 items that need to be addressed. The company and Boeing are conducting joint fuselage inspections prior to shipping, which has slowed product delivery.

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Spirit has been struggling with profitability since 2019. For the first three months of 2024, the company reported a quarterly loss of $616.7 million.

Boeing deliveries were down 31% from the same period in 2023, and overall deliveries were down 11%, according to Spirit.

Spirit spun off from Boeing in 2005, but the company reported it is in talks with Boeing to be reacquired.

About 70% of Spirit's business last year came from Boeing. The company also makes parts for Boeing's rival Airbus.

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