Boeing announced plans on Thursday to consolidate production of the 787 jet at its facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, by mid-2021. Citing the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Boeing says it made the decision in order to “preserve liquidity and reposition certain lines of business in the current global environment.” 787 production is currently split between North Charleston and the company’s site in Everett, Washington.
“Our team in Puget Sound will continue to focus on efficiently building our 737, 747, 767 and 777 airplane families, and both sites will drive Boeing initiatives to further enhance safety, quality, and operational excellence,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal. “We recognize that production decisions can impact our teammates, industry and our community partners. We extensively evaluated every aspect of the program and engaged with our stakeholders on how we can best partner moving forward.”
Boeing has been manufacturing 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft in Everett since 2007. The company opened a second final assembly line, capable of producing the larger 787-10 model, in North Charleston in 2010. According to Boeing, which announced that it was conducting a feasibility study for 787 production consolidation last July, it is still assessing potential employment impacts the shift might have at both sites.