While the economic impact on Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita has drawn concern at state and national levels, local leaders say things are “business as usual” at Orizon Aerostructures.
Boeing’s stoppage of 737 MAX airliner construction brought with it the announcement last week that Spirit would lay off 2,800 employees at its plants in Wichita and other locations. Spirit provides components for the airliner and the layoff is more than 20 percent of its Kansas workforce.
Orizon in Chanute supplies parts to Spirit, but Chanute Regional Development Authority Director Matt Godinez said the 737 MAX is only a portion of Orizon’s business.
He said Orizon also supplies parts for the Boeing 767, 777 and 787, as well as Honda Jet, Northrup-Grumman and Airbus.
During Monday evening’s Chanute City Commission meeting, Orizon CFO Mark Deuel said company officials were in Europe to discuss a deal with Airbus.
US Sen. Jerry Moran said he has spoken with President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence about the economic impact Spirit’s layoffs will have. Gov. Laura Kelly is coordinating state resources.
Tuesday Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt rating for Spirit to junk-bond status.