Spirit AeroSystems Wichita

Boeing and Airbus in talks to take over Spirit Aerosystems assets – report

Manufacturers intend to share facilities belonging to the troubled supplier that produces aerostructures for their jets

Boeing and Airbus are exploring a joint solution to resolve problems at Spirit Aerosystems, a supplier of its aerostructures, sources told Reuters.

An agreement is being reached between them to divide Spirit’s facilities so as not to compromise the production flow of components for both.

While Spirit is the main supplier of structures for Boeing jets, Airbus accounts for a fifth of its demand.

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Initially, Boeing and Spirit announced talks for the supplier to be reincorporated into the planemaker, but this would put Airbus programs at risk.

The European rival hired the American company to supply fuselage sections for the A350 and composite wings for the A220.

Boeing decided to spin off its aerostructures production facilities in 2005, forming Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas.

Spirit AeroSystems’ Belfast facility (Spirit AeroSystems)

The new company then expanded its operations, closing contracts with Airbus, its second largest customer. A possible acquisition of Spirit by Boeing would create an embarrassing situation and could be vetoed by the European Union.

Spirit manufactures A350 sections in Kinston, South Carolina, and A220 wings in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A possible agreement would involve the sale of at least one of the units to Airbus.

The European manufacturer has undertaken a huge effort to bring the A220 program out of harm’s way and the problems in Belfast could delay this objective.

Spirit also has smaller units in Scotland, Morocco and Malaysia, the latter of which produced the door plug for the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 and which would not have been fixed by Boeing during final assembly in Renton.


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