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Boeing woes spread to parts maker Spirit AeroSystems

December 17, 2019 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An aircraft parts maker that produces fuselages for the grounded 737 Max jet and already has dozens of them in storage is trying to figure out what to do after the Boeing Co. temporarily halted production of the jet.

Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems, which saw its shares fall in early trading Tuesday, said in a statement that it is working with customers to determine what Boeing’s announcement Monday means. The temporary production halt comes as Boeing struggles to get approval from regulators to put the plane back in the air after it was grounded following a pair of deadly crashes.

Spirit spokesman Keturah Austin said in an email that the company makes 70% of the fuselage for the 737 and employees around 13,500 people in Wichita.

Spirit had continued to churn out fuselages even as Boeing slowed production and had 90 of them stored on a ramp adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base as of Friday.