Uncertainty with aviation industry continues as Textron announces layoffs

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 4:15 PM CDT
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Another round of layoffs highlights the impact of COVID-19 on Wichita's aviation industry.

nationwide for salaried, non-bargaining employees, 70 of which are from facilities in Wichita.

This comes after other manufactures like

announced more furloughs. It's all a result of COVID-19's impact on air travel and the halted production of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Eyewitness News on Tuesday spoke with aviation consultant and analyst Scott Hamilton who says there are a lot of unknowns with both of these factors.

"There's not an indication of when the FAA is going to recertify the MAX," Hamilton says.

Spirit was supposed to make and deliver 216 shipsets to Boeing in 2020. That number was dropped to 125 in May. On Monday, Spirit said it will only deliver 72 this year.

Spirit has already delivered 25 shipsets this year and plans to deliver the remaining 37 by the end of the year. Hamilton said it will take time and a COVID-19 vaccine for the aviation industry to recover.

"It's going to take having a vaccine across the globe to restore confidence, not only to travel, but to do what they used to do," he said. "And that's going to take a couple years, really, for any vaccine that's approved to get into the global population."

Hamilton said people must stat flying again so airlines can make money to order new aircraft. That way, Wichita manufacturers like Textron and Spirit can get back to regular production.