EVERETT — A Wichita, Kansas, aerospace company plans to sell its Everett manufacturing facility after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. TECT Aerospace blamed the COVID-19 pandemic and the nearly two-year grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max plane.
TECT Aerospace filed for the protection on Tuesday, which also covers the company’s facilities in Park City and Wellington, Kansas, and Everett, the Wichita Eagle reported. The bankruptcy filing does not cover a facility in Nashville, Tennessee.
The company manufactures aircraft structural components, among other aviation parts, and operates a 157,000-square-foot facility at 1515 75th Street SW in Everett, where it produces “flight-critical mechanical and structural assemblies,” according to the company website.
The company said in its filings that it will continue work during the bankruptcy reorganization but plans to separately sell operations in Kansas and Washington, which includes the Everett location. The company closed a manufacturing facility in Kent last year, a move that reportedly affected about 50 workers.
TECT had previously managed facilities at Paine Field and Woodinville when it consolidated production at the Everett site in 2012.
TECT currently has 381 employees at two Kansas locations and in Everett, the firm told The Wall Street Journal. It’s not clear how many workers are employed at the Everett location.
The Everett facility did not return a phone call seeking additional information.
In a bankruptcy filing, the company said business operations were severely affected by the halt in production of the Boeing 737 Max and by restrictions on airline travel arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to a decline in demand for products and services, according to Bankrupt Company News.
Boeing’s Renton factory was producing the 737 Max at a rate of 52 per month when the passenger jet was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two deadly crashes that killed 346 people.
The production rate was lowered to 42 per month, and then, in January 2020, Boeing temporarily suspended production of the troubled passenger jet until May.
The 737 Max, which was grounded for some 20 months, resumed U.S. operations in December. Boeing plans to gradually increase production to 31 per month in early 2022, the company has said.
Court documents say that among its creditors, TECT owes about $18.3 million to Boeing and $4.2 million to Spirit AeroSystems.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is meant to rehabilitate a business and allow it to reorganize its debts rather than liquidate.
Herald writer Janice Podsada contributed.