Spirit AeroSystems to resume full work week by September

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Spirit AeroSystems has announced they will end the one day a week furloughs at the end of August. The company began furloughs after Boeing grounded the 737 MAX airplane after two crashes.

FILE PHOTO: Dec. 7, 2015, a man works in the landing gear compartment of the second Boeing 737 MAX airplane being built in Renton, Wash. The first 737 MAX was officially rolled out at an employee-only event on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and the plane’s first flight is expected to take place in the first part of 2016. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Approximately 70% of the 737 MAX work is done at Spirit and getting the MAX flying again is beneficial for both Boeing and Spirit.

Spirit AeroSystems employs more than 10,000 people in Wichita, with many asking when the Boeing 737 MAX planes will fly again. Boeing has halted new deliveries for now.

“The good news is they’ve got a plan. It is a, technically, very robust plan,” said Richard Aboulafia, Teal Aviation Analyst. “It seems to be meeting with a great deal of acceptance by the customer community, the regulator community.”

Analysts say there is growing confidence in a fix for the 737 MAX flight control software.

In the wake of the MAX issues, Spirit shortened the work week for Wichita workers to four days a week, but employees will return to a full work week starting in September.

“In the bigger picture, this company is strong. It’s diversified,” said Jeremy Hill, WSU’s Director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research. “It is actually by multiple analysts’ point of view a very strong company.”

FILE – In this May 8, 2019, file photo, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight in Renton, Wash. A trade group representing hundreds of airlines pushed again for additional training on Boeing’s 737 Max plane and for a coordinated effort to ensure the safe return of the aircraft after two deadly crashes. The International Air Transport Association held a meeting in Montreal between airlines and regulators. Boeing’s 737 Max fleet has been grounded worldwide after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Hill is not surprised Spirit is going back to full work weeks. He says Spirit has worked hard at diversifying over the years, and the company has contracts for work other than just the 737 MAX.

While the Boeing 737 MAX is still grounded, Boeing says it expects the MAX back in service as early as October.

Meanwhile, experts say there is confidence the software fix on the 737 MAX will be approved by regulators in the near future.

The FAA and global regulators will have to approve the fix on the flight control for the 737 MAX, which they are reviewing at this time.

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