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Spirit AeroSystems dealing with quality issues on some 737 fuselages

Hugo Phan
KMUW/File photo

Airline supplier Spirit AeroSystems says it’s aware of a quality issue involving elongated fastener holes on the aft pressure bulkhead on some of the 737 Max fuselage it produces.

Spirit said because it uses multiple suppliers, only some units are impacted. It plans to continue making unit deliveries to Boeing.

“Boeing has determined that there is no immediate safety of flight concern associated with this issue for the 737 fleet and that the in-service fleet may continue to operate,” Spirit said in a statement.

The 737 program is critical for Spirit, Wichita's largest employer. Production on the program was delayed earlier this summer during a strike by Machinists union members.

Aircraft manufacturers have wrestled with supply chain issues in recent years. Spiritbuilds the fuselage for Boeing’s 737 Max narrow-body jet and substantial sections of aircraft bodies in other of its models. The company builds components for Airbus aircraft as well.

In April, Boeing cautioned that production and delivery of a “significant number” of its 737 Max planes could be delayed because of questions about Spirit's work on a different part the fuselage.

All Max planes were grounded worldwide beginning in 2019 for nearly two years after a pair of deadly crashes. The move led to layoffs in Wichita.

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