WICHITA, Kansas – Big news for the “Air Capital of the World” as a new $6.5 billion contract to make 737 MAX airplanes in Wichita becomes official. Boeing’s deal with Air Canada means Spirit AreoSystems will be keeping busy making planes for the next several years.
With the face of the industry changing so much, even in the last 5 years, deals like this one are important.
“It helps keep it part of our local blood, but we will definitely see what the definition of air capital means change over the next few years,” said Jeremy Hill, Director of WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research.
The contract between Boeing and Air Canada means more work for Spirit AreoSystems, where they assemble about 70 percent of each 737. Currently, the company produces 42 of these planes per month. Experts say as production goes up, the company could look to add some of the area’s aviation workers who are out of work.
“It might get them re-engaged in the labor market and that’s probably what we need to do mostly absorb some of the people who are out there that are still unemployed that have those skill sets who do a great job but we just didn’t have those jobs around,” Hill said.