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Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems lays off staff amid drop in deliveries

A Boeing 737 MAX-10 lands above the Spirit AeroSystems logo during a flight demonstration at the 54th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 22, 2023.

Benoît Tessier | Reuters

Aerospace supplier Spirit AeroSystems announced Thursday that it would lay off some of its employees due to falling commercial aircraft delivery rates, as it struggles with a slowdown at its largest commercial aircraft 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 the most compassionate manner possible,” Spirit AeroSystems said in a statement.

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

Spirit AeroSystems makes fuselages at the factory for Boeing’s best-selling plane, the 737 Max, whose deliveries have slowed following a burst door panel and subsequent safety crisis. resulted at Boeing.

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

It posted 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 Boeingfrom which it spun off 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 April 2024 interview that it was “more than likely” the companies would reach an agreement sometime in the second quarter.

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