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Spirit admits delay in Boeing fuselage deliveries

April 14, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Spirit AeroSystems says the Kansas-based company was late for the first time in nearly four years delivering major parts of Boeing’s best-selling airplane.

Spirit officials cited a number of factors leading to last month’s late deliveries of 737 fuselages to Boeing, the Wichita Eagle reported .

“It’s a whole host of things,” said Tom Gentile, chief executive of Spirit. “I wouldn’t just point to one thing.”

Gentile said reasons for the missed deliveries include supply chain issues, rising monthly production rates and extra quality checks on parts and structures Spirit sends to Boeing.

“But the fact is we missed a load,” he said. “We don’t miss loads very often, and so we are really redoubling our efforts, working with Boeing very closely so we don’t miss any loads and we get caught bac up to their schedule.”

Delays in getting 737 fuselages to the Boeing assembly plant in Washington state could make the aerospace company late delivering planes to airline customers. Such delays could also mean financial penalties for Boeing.

Gentile declined to say whether Spirit will see any financial penalties for the delay.

In this instance, Boeing has “been able to mitigate things in our factory, and our customer deliveries remain on track,” said Doug Alder Jr., a company spokesman.

“We are confident in Spirit’s ability to meet our needs as we increase the 737 production rate later this year,” Alder said in an email. “This is part of our disciplined approach to planning production increases.”

Gentile said the goal for Spirit is not miss another 737 fuselage delivery again.

“The first quarter was a bit rocky, but we’ve put a lot of resources to catch up,” he said. “And after the missed load, we put more resources in place so we don’t do it again.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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