United Airlines orders 737 MAX, encouraging news for local manufacturers

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – United Airlines is taking advantage of weak demand for new planes to try to stock up. The airline is buying 270 new planes from Boeing and Airbus, news that could soon benefit local manufacturers. Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said the airline’s plan for the large Boeing 737 MAX order was good news for Wichita. Those in the local aviation industry agree.

United Airlines’ announcement signals a green light for more aviation jobs in Wichita.

“It’s exciting that we’re back in business,” said Don McGinty, president of the McGinty Machine Company, among local business leaders who have hope for the local aviation industry.

He said after about three slow years, “2022 looks good for everyone. “

McGinty Machine Company, a family business, has been around for two generations. Activity slowed in 2019 and 2020, from the immobilization of the 737 MAX to the COVID-19 pandemic. McGinty had nearly 70 employees two years ago. Now he works until 45 years old.

“We have already started hiring for our second shift to start making progress and trying to prepare for 2022,” he said. “So we’ve already started adding more hours to start adding more capacity for the future. “

With United Airlines adding 200 Boeing 737 MAXs, McGinty believes it could spill over and have a positive impact on other machine shops.

“Exciting. It means more work. So of course (it) keeps us busy and it’s good for the aviation industry,” said Austin Connell, production manager of McGinty machines.

Most of the jets ordered by United will replace the smaller regional planes. Parts of Boeing aircraft are manufactured in and around Wichita.

Spirit AeroSystems, one of Kansas’ largest employers, has expressed enthusiasm for the United Airlines order.

“This is exciting news for our customer, Boeing and the 737 MAX program,” said Molly Edwards, senior director of corporate communications and community relations for Spirit AeroSystems. “Spirit AeroSystems looks forward to working with our customer to fulfill their order. “

Whipple said the work ahead in the Wichita community is “huge”.

“It’s not just good for Spirit. We have several businesses, small businesses across the community that are also suppliers and power the global economy, ”Whipple said.

US Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said that “every new aircraft manufactured in Wichita means new jobs and economic growth for Kansas.”

Suppliers like McGinty think the United Airlines order is good news for everyone in the air capital.

Copyright 2021 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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