WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Richard Aboulafia has been in the aviation industry for 35 years. He says the aircraft market is incredibly strong been but there's one thing weakening it, Spirit AeroSystems.

Experts say one of Wichita's largest employers, Spirit AeroSystems, is in trouble.

"This isn't an industry problem it's a Spirit problem," he said.

He doesn't think it's possible for Spirit to come back and be strong again because he says it isn't viable in the industry.

Spirit has been in the headlines a lot the last few months for faulty products and possibly being bought by Boeing. It's in it once again with its plan to lay off hundreds of hourly employees.

"Given their financial difficulties it's not surprising that layoffs are starting to happen again even though these are really good times for the broader market," he said.

He says Spirit is creating instability that's hurting the entire aviation industry. Boeing is its biggest customer but Spirit also supplies parts for other companies. He says Spirit is slowing its customers down and he said it's detrimental.

"I mean people are trying to make very ambitious production ramps. That's not going to be possible until you have a Spirit ownership that can make the investments needed and most of all stop laying off people," he said.

In March, Spirit and Boeing confirmed they are in talks with each other about Boeing possibly buying Spirit. Aboulafia says he doesn't see it as "if" Boeing will buy Spirit but instead "when". He says this is the general conversation happening in the aerospace industry.

"I think everyone knows it has to happen. I think even Boeing would admit that," he said.

If that happens he says it will be able to keep up with the rapid demand which will result in even more jobs. 

"When you say more jobs, do you think the people who will be laid off will be able to get their jobs back," KAKE News asked.

"I think all of them and then some," he responded.

He says the aircraft market is the strongest he's seen it in his entire career but the overall industry needs Spirit to start performing.