Spirit Aerosystem does not share Boeing’s confidence on the B737 MAX chances of recovery

Following the recent news that Spirit Aerosystem will lay off staff affiliated to the B737 MAX program;

Nicolas Jouan, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the decision:

“The news that Spirit Aerosystem will start laying off around 900 staff working on the B737 MAX program is unfortunately unsurprising as it comes six months after halting production of the airframe. The company is the main supplier of Boeing and manufactures the fuselage of the fuel-efficient B737 MAX single-aisle. It comes at an awkward time for Boeing as the company is expecting good news from next week’s FAA Senate hearing that could open the perspective of a recertification this year for the MAX. As a show of confidence, the airplane assembly line was restarted by Boeing at the end of last month. However, the fact that the company’s main supplier has decided to perpetually reduce its workforce suggests a bleaker path for the B737 MAX.

“The grounding of the aircraft last year virtually froze Boeing’s single-aisle program and the COVID-19 crisis only added to the MAX troubles, confronted to a fierce competition from Airbus on a shrinking single-aisle market. Boeing recently abandoned a partnership with Embraer, suggesting a general lack of resources from the company to pour in commercial single-aisle. Many airlines and leasing companies are now slimming down their fleet and anxiously await new social distancing safety regulation. In this context, Airbus’ lower-density A321XLR has a good chance to settle the issue while Boeing depletes its resources in returning the MAX. Boeing’s show of confidence has not convinced Spirit Aerosystem as the company is now playing its survival by cutting potential overcapacity.”

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