December 19, 2018 / 4:58 PM / 6 months ago

Spirit AeroSystems to add 1,400 jobs at Wichita facility

(Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc, which supplies the fuselage for Boeing Co’s best-selling 737 jetliner, said on Wednesday it would add 1,400 jobs at its facility in Wichita, Kansas.

The aircraft parts maker told a news conference that the jobs for its commercial and defense programs were in addition to the 1,000 jobs the company announced last year and come as it works to expand production capacity.

Boeing, the world’s largest planemaker, has been wrestling with delays from Spirit and other suppliers that have snarled production at its Seattle-area 737 plant. Boeing currently plans to raise production rates almost 10 percent on its 737 next year, building 57 planes a month up from 52 now. It may go even higher as it strives to serve growing global travel demand, particularly in Asian markets.

Most of the new jobs will continue to be for hourly employees, including sheet-metal assembly mechanics, composite mechanics and CNC machine operators, Spirit said in a statement.

Spirit also said its new 150,000 square-foot Global Digital Logistics Center was on schedule to open in early 2019 in Wichita.

Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by James Emmanuel, Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio

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