US aerostructures firm Spirit AeroSystems has confirmed that it is cutting back staff numbers at its Wichita facility, where it produces Boeing 737 fuselages.

The company – which has been under financial pressure and faced scrutiny over quality monitoring – says recent slowing of commercial aircraft delivery rates “compels” the decision.

“In the coming weeks we will inform affected employees,” it says.

“We are committed to implementing this transition in as compassionate a manner as possible.”

Spirit AeroSystems has not specified the number of personnel involved, although Kansas-based television station KSN puts the figure at up to 450.

The Wichita facility produces fuselages for the 737 Max, increased production rates for which have been postponed.

737 Max 9-c-Spirit AeroSystems

Source: Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems builds 737 Max fuselages but production rates have been curbed

Spirit is building 737 fuselages at around 31 per month and expects this rate to remain at the same level through the rest of this year.

The company stated, during a first-quarter briefing earlier this month, that its cash-flow was being “negatively impacted” by the disruption to 737 production and delivery delays.

Cash-flow and revenues projections have been significantly reduced by events over the quarter, notably after the Alaska Airlines 737 Max door incident in early January, which prompted Boeing to introduce production and delivery process changes.

Spirit AeroSystems has also faced difficulty reaching a pricing agreement with Airbus regarding its programmes for the European airframer. Spirit builds fuselages for the A350 and wings for the A220, at plants in North Carolina and Northern Ireland, as well as a number of components for other Airbus types.