Spirit AeroSystems resumes shipments, but no timetable to clear backlog

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Published: April 24, 2012

Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems has confirmed it has restarted shipments to Boeing after a week-long operational hiatus caused by tornado damage.

The aerostructures supplier on 20 April shipped two previously completed 737 fuselages and one 777 cabin to Boeing’s assembly lines in Renton and Everett, Washington, respectively.

All of the items shipped had been completed before 14 April, the company says.

A severe storm that included a tornado ripped through the southeast corner of Wichita on that day, causing substantial structural damage across the Spirit AeroSystems’ sprawling factory complex.

Spirit AeroSystems suspended operations for nine days, using a skeleton crew to clear debris and restore production capabilities.

Although certain facilities lost parts of roofs and walls, the storm did little damage to the company’s products in various states of assembly and to the production equipment, according to Spirit AeroSystems officials.

On Monday, the company’s entire Kansas-based workforce of nearly 11,000 employees reported to work for the first time since the storm hit.

Spirit AeroSystems still has not released a timetable for clearing the production backlog caused by the nearly nine-day work stoppage.

“We are working closely with our customers to minimise the impact to their delivery schedules and impacts to their business,” Spirit AeroSystems says.

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