Boeing is shutting down its production operations in Seattle area facilities, which make up the majority of the company’s aircraft manufacturing, including the production of 747, 767, 777, and the 787 Dreamliner airplanes.
Already slowing down production at the affected sites, Boeing plans to suspend operations at Puget Sound area on March 25, 2020. The halt would last for 14 days.
“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live,” Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun is cited in the company’s statement, released on March 23. “We continue to work closely with public health officials, and we’re in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders who are affected by this temporary suspension. We regret the difficulty this will cause them, as well as our employees, but it’s vital to maintain health and safety for all those who support our products and services, and to assist in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19,” Calhoun added.
In the Seattle area, 24 Boeing employees contracted the COVID-19, according to the Seattle Times estimations. One Everett factory employee has reportedly died from the virus.
Boeing’s European competitor Airbus previously made a similar move, by halting production and final assembly in its French and Spanish sites, as announced on March 17, 2020. On March 23, the European manufacturer announced that production had been partially resumed.