Spirit AeroSystems announces staff lay-off

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Spirit AeroSystems is laying-off 360 support and management employees in Kansas and Oklahoma, as the aerostructures supplier continues a comprehensive strategic review of its businesses.

The lay-offs come less than a year after the Wichita-based company reported a series of charges due to cost growth on Boeing and Gulfstream aircraft programmes, particularly in the wing structures division based in Oklahoma and Malaysia.

"Today's action is a strategic move to make the company more competitive in a cost-sensitive environment, and results from an ongoing workforce assessment designed to reduce overhead costs, increase efficiency and drive improved performance," Spirit AeroSystems says.

The lay-offs were announced despite a historic production ramp-up on commercial aerospace programmes, as Boeing pushes the 787 monthly rate to at least 10 later this year and the 737 rate to 42 next year. Boeing already raised the 777 production rate from seven aircraft per month to 8.3 earlier this year.

Spirit AeroSystems makes the entire 737 fuselage in Wichita, the Section 41 nose of the 787 and significant sections of the 777 and 747-8. So far, the lay-offs have not targeted line workers at any of its plants or any of the workers in Kinston, North Carolina, a new facility that Spirit AeroSystems opened to support assembly of the Section 15 fuselage of the Airbus A350 XWB family.