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Boeing and Airbus aside, huge uncertainty hangs over the rest of Spirit AeroSystems

Supplier’s work for major business aviation OEMs remains in flux as deal with Boeing and Airbus unveiled

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Release Date
July 2, 2024
Boeing and airbus aside, huge uncertainty hangs over the rest of Spirit AeroSystems
The acquisition of Spirit AeroSystems by Boeing and a series of impending – and contingent – factory divestments to Airbus may answer key questions about the future of the supply chain for the dupoly’s jetliner programs. But, the enormity of the pair often obscures the aerostructures provider’s reach across a host of other industry sectors on programs that now face significant uncertainty about their futures.

Boeing and Spirit in their announcement went to great lengths to emphasize “continuity” for U.S. defense programs that count Spirit as a supplier. The aerostructures company is a major partner on Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider strategic bomber, Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor and the Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter.

Related: Boeing agrees to acquire Spirit AeroSystems in $8.3 billion strategic reversal

“As part of the transaction, Boeing will work with Spirit to ensure the continuity of operations supporting Spirit’s customers and programs it acquires, including working with the U.S. Department of Defense and Spirit defense customers regarding defense and security missions,” Boeing said in its statement announcing the deal. The rotorcraft and bomber programs are virtually certain to join Boeing’s stable of defense work when the deal is expected to close in mid-2025, according to industry officials.

Yet, the $8.3 billion deal designed to secure Boeing’s industrial stability is creating shockwaves that could impact programs in other industry sectors, notably business aviation. While Spirit’s work for Boeing and Airbus captures most of the public’s attention, the company is also the largest supplier to Bombardier, and a key provider to Gulfstream, Dassault and Honda Aircraft.

Related: Inside the strained union of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems is going away, but is there clarity on where this other work is going? “There’s not any,” an industry official close to the acquisition told The Air Current. The regulatory filings associated with the July 1 agreement offer little insight into what comes next for Spirit’s customers outside of the jetliner duopoly.

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