Spirit AeroSystems Wichita

Spirit AeroSystems may be split between Boeing and Airbus

Key aerostructures supplier is the subject of negotiations to be reintegrated into the US planemaker. Airbus could take over division in Northern Ireland that produces A220 wings

The beginning of March brought confirmation of a move to try to resolve the problems of Spirit AeroSystems, a key supplier of aerostructures to Boeing and Airbus.

After conversations with Spirit were revealed by The Wall Street Journal, Boeing confirmed that it is considering taking over the company, created after the separation of an old component production division for its jets.

We confirm that our collaboration has resulted in preliminary discussions about making Spirit AeroSystems a part of Boeing again,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

We believe that the reintegration of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems’ manufacturing operations would further strengthen aviation safety, improve quality and serve the interests of our customers, employees, and shareholders.

737 MAX fuselage supplied by Spirit AeroSystems (LunchwithaLens/CC)

Airbus could also enter the discussions

In addition to being the supplier of aerostructures for jets such as the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner, Spirit AeroSystems also produces components for Airbus aircraft, including the central section of the fuselage of the widebody A350 and the composite wings of the A220 in Belfast, in Northern Ireland.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Spirit intends to sell its operations in Ireland to facilitate the merger with Boeing. Airbus would therefore be the natural candidate to acquire it.

The possible sale of Spirit AeroSystems comes amid repeated problems on the 737 MAX jet assembly line, which present worrying quality flaws.

The company has been led by Pat Shanahan since last year, an executive with extensive experience coming from Boeing.

One of the most worrying aspects in the company concerns the prices charged by Boeing and Airbus and the pressure to reduce costs.

Spirit AeroSystems’ Belfast facility (Spirit AeroSystems)

Spirit has been losing money year after year and in 2023 alone the loss reached US$623 million. Two-thirds of its revenue comes from Boeing, with the 737 program accounting for almost half of the company’s entire revenue.

In a short statement, Spirit Aerosystems acknowledged the conversations with Boeing, however, “no assurances can be given that a definitive agreement will be entered into, that any transaction will be consummated, or the timing, terms or conditions of any such transaction.

Spirit does not intend to comment further on market speculation or disclose any developments unless and until it otherwise deems further disclosure is appropriate or required.”

Airbus did not comment on the WSJ report.


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