WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing confirmed Friday that they are currently engaged in discussions about a possible acquisition of Spirit by Boeing.

The 737 fuselage maker Spirit said they do not intend to comment further on market speculation or disclose any developments unless and until it otherwise deems further disclosure is appropriate or required.

In a statement, Boeing says they have been working closely with Spirit AeroSystems and its leadership to strengthen the quality of the commercial airplanes that we build together. 

"We believe that the reintegration of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems’ manufacturing operations would further strengthen aviation safety, improve quality and serve the interests of our customers, employees, and shareholders," Boeing said. "Although there can be no assurance that we will be able to reach an agreement, we are committed to finding ways to continue to improve the safety and quality of the airplanes on which millions of people depend each and every day."

Spirit shares soared more than 10% Friday after the announcement, up 16.54% at the time this article was written, while those of Boeing fell 1%. 

In 2005, Boeing sold its Wichita plant and Spirit AeroSystems was created, producing 21 Boeing 737 fuselages per month. Today, Spirit’s Wichita plant produces 52 Boeing 737 shipsets each month, or about 2.7 per day, according to Spirit

Spirit is Wichita's largest employer which is leaving some people worried about what this would mean for workers if Boeing were to buy Spirit. A local economist says he doesn't think anything drastic would happen but it's also not necessarily a great thing for the community.

"Right now Spirit is a headquarter and as a headquarters you have top management here. You have decisions being made here, and they're connected to the community," said Jeremy Hill, an economics director at Wichita State University.

He explains if Boeing were to buy Spirit and come back to Wichita the decisions wouldn't be made with the Air Capitol in mind because Wichita would just be a part of the aircraft monopoly.

Hill is looking at this as long-term. He says in short-term he could actually see it potentially being a positive thing and he doesn't think there would be that many lay offs.

"If anything they're gonna want to do investments. Boeing really wants us to increase our production rate and they want to increase quality," said Hill.

He explains there's a pressure all aerospace companies face to develop new technology and equipment to improve planes and right now it seems Spirit isn't keeping up.

Hill says there a couple of benefits Boeing would likely get if it bought Spirit including improved communication, increased quality, and it'd be more cost effective for the company.

However Spirit and Boeing have a history and Boeing has showed it's not really loyal to communities while Spirit is.

"They (Boeing) think much more broadly than what Spirit does. Spirit has a relationship with the community and can stay here and as we've seen in the past Boeing will get up and move," he said.

Boeing announced in January 2012 the company would be closing its Boeing Defense, Space & Security facility in Wichita which employed more than 2,100 employees. The manufacturer cited budget reductions and shifting customer priorities in its decision to close the Wichita facility. 

The report comes just one day after the United States Justice Department said they will begin investigating Boeing over its door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.