Boeing Extends Washington State Production Suspension Indefinitely


Boeing has roughly 70,000 employees in Washington State splitted among its facilities.


Boeing Everett factory
Boeing to extend production suspension in Washington Photo: Bloomberg

Boeing said on Sunday that it would extend the suspension of production at its Washington state facilities amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

Boeing said on March 23 that it would suspend operations at Puget Sound area and Moses Lake in Washington state, after it's employees became victim of the virus. 



"Due to company's continuing focus on the health and safety of its employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain, and additional recommendations from government health authorities, Boeing is extending the temporary suspension of operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice," Boeing said in a statement.

Though, production was assumed to resume earlier this week, Boeing declined to say when it could resume the production.

Boeing said this decision was "being taken in light of the company's continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities."



Boeing Everett factory
Boeing said this decision does not affect 787 production Photo: Boeing

Boeing also said that this decision does not affect work at its 787 facilities in South Carolina. 

Boeing has already halted production of its bestselling 737 Max plane in January, which has been grounded since March 2019 following two deadly crashes killing a total of 346 people on-board.



Around 70,000 Boeing employees work in Washington state. Among these Boeing will stop paying around 30,000 employees, who work in the production line. However, other workers will continue to work from home.

About 135 Boeing employees out of its 160,000 workforce have tested positive for COVID-19, a Boeing spokesman said. 


Boeing Everett factory
Around 70,000 employees work in Washington state Photo: Boeing

Out of 135 employees who tested positive, 95 of them were reported in Washington state, up from 54 a week earlier. The Seattle Times also reported than 14 of those employees work at the Everett widebody jet plant. One of the employees working at Everett factory died due to coronavirus few days back.



Boeing's decision comes as Washington state continues to report increase in active cases, though at slower rate than some other states. On Sunday, an additional 393 cases and 28 deaths were confirmed in the state, bringing the total to 7,784 cases and 338 deaths.


Boeing 737 Max
Boeing has earlier suspended Boeing 737 Max Photo: Getty

Last month, Boeing has asked for at least $60 billion in financial aid for the American aerospace industry, to help the industry sustain this cash drain due to coronavirus pandemic.

However, Boeing's CEO said that he wouldn't take money if he would have to give the government an equity stake in the company.



Last Friday, Avolon, one of the largest aircraft leasing company said it was cancelling orders for 75 Boeing 737 Max aircraft that were due to be by 2023 along with 4 Airbus A330neos. 

Due to ongoing travel restrictions and decrease in demand for air travel, Airbus and Boeing will be forced to cut production by around 40% through 2021, citing airlines current condition.


Avolon
Avolon has cancelled orders for 75 Boeing 737 Max Photo: Boeing

Along with this, Avolon has also deferred delivery dates for other 25 narrowbody aircraft including 16 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to 2024 and beyond.

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