January 10, 2020 | 11:39am| Updated January 10, 2020 | 2:57pm
The headquarters of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc.
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane
Aerospace builder Spirit Aerosystems will lay off more than 2,800 people now that Boeing has decided to halt production of its beleaguered 737 MAX plane.
Spirit is Boeing’s largest supplier and makes fuselages, wing components and other parts for the 737 MAX, which was grounded last March after two disastrous crashes that killed 346 people.
The job cuts announced Friday amount to more than 20 percent of the roughly 13,000 workers in its base in Wichita, Kansas, and more than 15 percent of Spirit’s total global workforce of 18,000.
Spirit stopped making 737 MAX parts Jan. 1 following Boeing’s December announcement that it would pause production on the plane as regulators examine whether it should return to the skies.
“Spirit has not yet received notice from Boeing on when MAX production will restart or what production rates will be when it does,” Spirit CEO Tom Gentile said in a memo to employees.
The layoffs were announced a day after Boeing released documents showing that employees knew about problems with the 737 MAX flight simulators but tried to conceal them from regulators. One message said the plane was “designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
Spirit shares were trading down 1.4 percent at $71.72 as of 11:10 a.m. Friday, while Boeing shares were recently down 0.8 percent at $333.40.
With Post wires