Spirit AeroSystems Cuts 1,100 Jobs Due to 737 MAX and COVID-19

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FAA proposed requiring four key design changes before the aircraft returns to the service. Photo: Boeing

Spirit AeroSystems announced it will further reduce employment at its facility in Wichita, Kan., as a result of the most recent rate reduction on the 737 MAX and the ongoing global pandemic, which continue to impact the demand for new commercial aircraft and the airline industry as a whole.

“Our production rates for commercial aircraft have fallen from historic highs to significantly lower volumes in a matter of months,” said Tom Gentile, President and CEO, Spirit AeroSystems. “We are taking this action to better calibrate our employment level to the reduced demand we see from our customers. This action, along with previous actions, is intended to reduce costs, increase liquidity and position Spirit to remain financially healthy while we move through a period of recovery in the commercial aviation market.”

The 737 MAX production rate reduction is the third this year, lowering Spirit’s production from 125 units to 72 units for 2020, a reduction of more than 80 percent from its 2019 production rates.

To support the alignment of workforce levels with the customer demand for aircraft, Spirit will reduce headcount on commercial programs by 1,100 employees. This announcement represents 450 new layoffs at the Wichita site when taking into account prior layoff notifications and employees transitioning to defense programs, moving to the temporary special project to build ventilators or electing to participate in the voluntary layoff opportunity.

“Although this extraordinary time has required us to make difficult decisions, we remain focused on fulfilling requirements to our customers, including the important work we provide for defense and space programs,” Gentile said. “I continue to remain confident in the future of the aviation industry, and in our ability to navigate through these challenges to emerge a stronger company.”

spirit aerosystems
The FAA issued an airworthiness directive for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and proposed requiring key design changes before the aircraft returns to the service. Photo: Boeing

About Spirit AeroSystems Inc.

Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers. With headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in the U.S., U.K., France and Malaysia. The company’s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components for the world’s premier aircraft. Spirit AeroSystems focuses on affordable, innovative composite and aluminum manufacturing solutions to support customers around the globe.

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