- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 10, 2020

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Spirit AeroSystems will furlough about 900 hourly employees who work on the Boeing 737 program, the company said Wednesday.

Spirit will implement the 21-day furloughs beginning Monday through July 6, the Wichita Eagle reported.

The furloughs are needed because of the continued effect of COVID-19 on the airline industry and the uncertainty surrounding the return to service of the 737 Max, Spirit spokeswoman Keturah Austin said.

The company employs around 13,000 people full-time in the area.

“This difficult decision was made to help safeguard the financial health and stability of the company,” Austin said. “We acknowledge the hardship this will have on our employees, and we’re thankful for their commitment and understanding during this difficult time.”

Spirit makes fuselages for the 737 Max, which was grounded by regulators worldwide after two crashes. Boeing is a major customer of Spirit AeroSystems.

The company employs around 13,000 people in the area.

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