WICHITA, Kan., May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Spirit AeroSystems [NYSE: SPR] announced today it will reduce employment at sites supporting commercial programs a result of lower demand for commercial airplanes. Spirit is a supplier to Airbus and Boeing, both of which announced lower production rates for commercial aircraft due to the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry.
"Our actions follow reduced demand from our customers, who have lowered production rates as demand for new airplanes declines due to the impact of COVID-19," said Tom Gentile, President and CEO, Spirit AeroSystems. "In addition to reducing employment, we are taking other initiatives to lower costs and preserve liquidity, which included raising $1.2 billion in high yield secured second lien bonds in April. We are focused on ensuring Spirit AeroSystems remains a healthy business and emerges from this crisis with a bright future."
As part of the overall employment reductions, Spirit offered a voluntary layoff to union represented employees in Wichita, Kan. earlier this week. Today Spirit issued a notice to the State of Kansas under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of layoffs affecting approximately 1,450 hourly and salaried employees at its site in Wichita. Spirit's Wichita employees affected by these layoffs are expected to begin exiting the company May 15. Later this month, smaller reductions will occur at Spirit's remaining U.S. sites that perform commercial work. Spirit's global sites are reviewing workforce requirements and will announce their plans in the coming weeks.
As Spirit continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by changing its work practices to keep employees safe, the company is also working directly to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Spirit has developed a partnership to manufacture medical devices in Wichita. Approximately 700 employees will be transferred to this temporary special project that is expected to last through October and may go longer, depending upon demand. Spirit will have more information to share on the medical device partnership in the near future.
Spirit's work on defense programs will not be impacted by these announced employment reductions and those operations will continue uninterrupted. Additionally, some employees currently supporting commercial programs may be transferred to available defense work, mitigating the number of employees who may be affected by these workforce actions.
"While we are faced with difficult decisions during this unprecedented time in our industry, we remain focused on maintaining operations to support our customers, including the critical work we do on national security programs," Gentile said. "I remain confident in the future of the aviation industry and believe in our ability as a company to weather this pandemic and emerge stronger."
On the web: www.spiritaero.com
On Twitter: @SpiritAero
About Spirit AeroSystems Inc.
Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers. With headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in the U.S., U.K., France and Malaysia. The company's core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components for the world's premier aircraft. Spirit AeroSystems focuses on affordable, innovative composite and aluminum manufacturing solutions to support customers around the globe. More information is available at www.SpiritAero.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that may involve many risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "could," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "goal," "forecast," "intend," "may," "might," "objective," "outlook," "plan," "predict," "project," "should," "target," "will," "would," and other similar words, or phrases, or the negative thereof, unless the context requires otherwise. These statements reflect management's current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown. Our actual results may vary materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements. We caution investors not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such forward-looking statements and that should be considered in evaluating our outlook include, without limitation, the timing and conditions surrounding the return to service of the 737 MAX and any related impacts on our production rate; our reliance on Boeing for a significant portion of our revenues; our ability to execute our growth strategy, including our ability to timely complete and integrate our announced Asco and Bombardier acquisitions; our ability to accurately estimate and manage performance, cost, and revenue under our contracts; demand for our products and services and the effect of economic or geopolitical conditions in the industries and markets in which we operate in the U.S. and globally; our ability to manage our liquidity, borrow additional funds or refinance debt; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations, including on the demand for our and our customers' products and services, on trade and transport restrictions, on the global aerospace supply chain, on our ability to retain the skilled work force necessary for production and development and generally on our ability to effectively manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business operations; and other factors disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These factors are not exhaustive and it is not possible for us to predict all factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in our forward-looking statements. These factors speak only as of the date hereof, and new factors may emerge or changes to the foregoing factors may occur that could impact our business. Except to the extent required by law, we undertake no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any obligation to, publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
SOURCE Spirit AeroSystems