Boeing supplier Spirit slides as pandemic brings pain beyond the 737 Max


A worker applies sealer to a cargo door frame as the bottom section of a Boeing 737 fuselage is assembled at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Spirit Aerosystems slipped on Tuesday after the key Boeing supplier swung to a loss and detailed trouble ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic‘s impact on jetliner demand.

The Wichita, Kansas-based producer of fuselages and other aircraft parts swung to a $256 million loss in the second quarter from a $168 million profit a year earlier. The company has been challenged since the March 2019 grounding of the 737 Max after two fatal crashes. On Friday, Spirit said it was cutting 1,000 more jobs because of lower production rates. The reduction brought the company’s workforce cuts to its commercial aviation unit to about 8,000 so far this year.

Boeing last week revealed lower production targets for not only the 737 Max but double-aisle planes, which are used for long-haul international flights, the routes that have been most curtailed by the pandemic.

Spirit Aerosystems on Tuesday said it recorded $194 million in forward losses mostly because of lower production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the competing Airbus A350.

Airlines’ financial losses around the world are mounting because of the coronavirus and some are deferring deliveries or canceling them outright to reduce their costs.

Spirit shares were down 2% in afternoon trading, while the S&P 500 was down modestly.

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