Boeing has announced that it expanding its temporary aircraft production shutdown to its 787 site in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The facilities, which house a large part of the manufacturer’s 787 ‘Dreamliner’ assembly work, will close on Wednesday, April 8, until further notice.
With this step, South Carolina is joining Boeing’s operations in Washington state in suspending production. All of the company’s commercial aircraft production lines, the majority of them located in the Seattle area, are therefore closed indefinitely. It is currently unclear when they could reopen.
Furloughed employees from the site will continue to be paid for only ten days, after that they would be forced to either use their paid time off, or file for unemployment, according to Boeing. Meanwhile, those who are able to work from home will continue to do so; the same applies to other sites where operations have been stopped.
This latest step comes in the middle of the global Coronavirus crisis, which causes manufacturers to face serious challenges, including extraordinary workplace health measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and passenger airlines looking to delay new aircraft deliveries given the historic lows in demand.
Earlier this Tuesday, European competitor Airbus also announced that it will suspend operations at its only United States-based final assembly site in Mobile, Alabama, until late April. The company’s production in Europe is still operational, although some facilities are temporarily closed, while others work at reduced rates with increased health and safety measures.
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Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.