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Two months after a tornado struck Wichita, Kansas, crippling production at one of its key suppliers, executives from Boeing Commercial Airplanes made a special trip to the city to personally thank Spirit AeroSystems employees and the city for a remarkable recovery.
“On behalf of the Boeing Company I want to express our heartfelt appreciation to the employees of Spirit AeroSystems, the city of Wichita, and the many utility and construction workers for your recovery efforts,” said Kent Fisher, vice president and general manager of Supplier Management for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This was a devastating event yet you performed nothing short of a miracle in getting your factory back up and running in just one week. That speaks volumes to the value we place in our partnership with all of you.”
To honor the Wichita team, Boeing treated Spirit employees to lunch during an hour long celebration. Employees were lauded by company leadership, Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer and leaders from Boeing Airplane Programs.
“It’s in times of crisis that teams show what they’re made of, and the team at Spirit did just that. They demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism, commitment and resourcefulness, and ensured we minimized delivery impacts for our airline customers,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president general manager of the 737 Program. “The tornado was a compelling reminder of just how interdependent our successes are on the 737. I can’t think of another partner I’d rather have.”
The tornado hit at 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 while approximately 200 employees on site took refuge in designated storm shelters. The storm damaged nearly 40 buildings and knocked- out power and water to the facility. Over the next several days, employees and contractors from around the country worked around the clock to restore power, water, repair buildings, and bring critical equipment back online
In just eight days, all 10,800 Spirit Wichita employees were back to work producing parts for Boeing. Boeing has not missed any deliveries as a result of the storm.
“I am extremely proud of our team and our partners,” said Jeff Turner, Spirit AeroSystems president and CEO. “Together we had one goal and that was to eliminate any impact of this storm on our customer. Through the storm we remained focused on returning to full production and keeping our commitments.”
Spirit produces structures and engine structural components, including fuselage, struts, nacelles, and seat tracks for Boeing at its Wichita facility.
More information: www.boeing.com - www.spiritaero.com