Boeing Supplier Spirit Plans Company-wide Job Cuts

 - May 4, 2020, 12:41 PM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

Job cuts are expected at Spirit AeroSystems plants in Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma, and Kinston, North Carolina, following warnings last Friday that the supplier to Airbus and Boeing would eliminate 1,450 production and non-production jobs at its plant and headquarters in Wichita. Spirit said the cuts would be smaller in North Carolina and Oklahoma and will happen later this month.

“Our actions follow reduced demand from our customers, who have lowered production rates as demand for new airplanes declines due to the impact of Covid-19,” said Spirit president and CEO Tom Gentile, who added the layoffs are part of several initiatives by the company to lower its costs and preserve cash. Last month, the manufacturer of three-quarters of the Boeing 737 raised $1.2 billion in high-yield, secured second lien bonds for cash preservation. “We are focused on ensuring Spirit AeroSystems remains a healthy business and emerges from this crisis with a bright future,” Gentile said.

The company said staffing at its plants in Scotland, France, and Malaysia will be reviewed as well and any plans about job cuts will be announced by them in the coming weeks.

Workers assigned to defense programs won’t be affected by the cuts, and some commercial production employees could be transferred to those programs. Job cuts in Wichita are expected to take effect beginning May 15.