Wichita’s Spirit Aerosystems Furloughs Hundreds

Spirit AeroSystems will furlough about 900 hourly employees who work on the Boeing 737 program, the company says.

Spirit will implement the 21-day furloughs beginning Monday, and lasting through July 6, the Wichita Eagle reported.

The furloughs are needed because of the continued effect of COVID-19 on the airline industry, and the uncertainty surrounding the return to service of the 737 Max, according to a Spirit spokeswoman.

In addition, Spirit will declare an immediate reduction of the hourly workforce in Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma, effective Friday, June 12.

The company employs around 13,000 people full-time in the Wichita area.

Spirit makes fuselages for the 737 Max, which was grounded by regulators worldwide after two crashes.

Boeing is a major customer of Spirit AeroSystems.

The company said “This difficult decision was made to help safeguard the financial health and stability of the company.”

“We acknowledge the hardship this will have on our employees, and we’re thankful for their commitment and understanding during this difficult time.”