Boeing, Spirit Aero Team Up On 737 MAX Pooling Service

Boeing 737 MAX 8
Credit: Boeing

DALLAS—Boeing is tapping 737 MAX subassembly supplier Spirit AeroSystems to expand its aftermarket support of its newest narrowbody aircraft family, launching spares pools for structural parts that Spirit will support through its repair capabilities. 

The deal, announced April 26, will see Boeing establish exchange programs for certain nacelle and flight-control components. Spirit, which manufactures 737 fuselages, thrust reversers, slats, and flaps, will provide repair services for parts exchanged into the pool. The service, which Boeing said is “in response to customer needs,” is the first pooling program for the parts covered by the program. 

“With this agreement, Boeing Global Services (BGS) is strategically positioned to assist all 737 MAX operators by providing lease and exchange programs to respond quickly to unforeseen events,” said Mini Desai, BGS VP of commercial spares and managed parts. “Our business serves our customer base beyond the sale of aircraft, and now we can expand lease and exchange support for aerostructures with Spirit AeroSystems.” 

The agreement means 737 MAX customers have more options for nacelle and fight control maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) support at a time when the fleet is slated to grow quickly. Boeing is steadily ramping up 737 MAX deliveries following a 21-month pause that ended in late 2020 and the broader industry downturn that led airlines to re-assess fleet plans.  

Tapping Spirit and its expanding aftermarket footprint for repairs instantly gave Boeing several potential support facilities around the world.  

“Over the last three years, we have expanded from a single MRO center in Wichita to five MRO centers on four continents, which will allow us to serve Boeing’s global customers locally,” said Spirit SVP of aftermarket services Kailash Krishnaswamy. “This strategic partnership will allow us to provide customized, high-quality MRO solutions at industry leading turn-around times for our customers’ 737 MAX nacelles and flight controls.” 

Landing repair work from Boeing continues Spirit’s aggressive push to build its aftermarket business to 20% of its total revenue, or about $500 million, by 2025. Adding both capabilities and geographic locations to broaden its customer base are keys to the push. 

The company on April 26 also announced its first joint venture in China, signing a deal with Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co. to become its authorized service center for nacelles and potentially other structural components. 

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.