Boeing rules out buying Tier 1 supplier Spirit AeroSystems

Boeing, despite trials and tribulations at Spirit AeroSystems, ruled out buying the supplier
Thiago B Trevisan /

Boeing has ruled out the purchase of Spirit AeroSystems, one its Tier 1 Suppliers.  

“I am not going to sugarcoat it, it’s been rough and tough,” said David Calhoun, chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Boeing, during a press conference on June 1, 2023, as reported by The Air Current. “But I believe the path forward is still a constructive path where engineers work with engineers, we get ahead of the manufacturing process capability gaps that we experienced and we’ve experienced on the MAX, but those are solved.” 

“But I don’t think you acquire a company to solve them,” Calhoun added.  

In April 2023, Spirit AeroSystems, which is based in Kansas, the United States (US), notified Boeing about a manufacturing defect affecting the installation of vertical attach fittings on the fuselage of certain 737s models. As a result, some 737 MAX, as well as P8 Poseidon, a military derivative of the 737 NextGeneration, aircraft were suspended. 

The Boeing 737 MAX-9 was the only aircraft from the 737 MAX family unaffected by the issue. 

Calhoun previously called it a “gnarly defect” during Boeing’s Q1 2023 financial results presentation in April 2023, and the aircraft manufacturer reiterated guidance that between 400 and 450 737 MAX deliveries would be made in 2023. Spirit AeroSystems estimated that the overall financial impact would amount to $31 million in the form of net profit reductions in 2023, $17 million of which had already been reflected in the company’s Q1 2023 financial results. 

Boeing resumed deliveries of the affected aircraft in May 2023. According to data, the manufacturer handed over 29 737 MAX aircraft during the month, and their first flight dates were between March 2023 and May 2023. 

The resumption of deliveries was confirmed by the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president of finance, Brian West, who spoke during the Wolfe Research Global Transportation & Industrials Conference on May 25, 2023. West said, “we have begun to deliver airplanes – reworked airplanes out of inventory”. 

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