Boeing has officially confirmed the decision to consolidate the 787 Dreamliner production in the company’s factory of North Charleston. This means that from mid-2021, the birthplace of the Dreamliner, Everett, will no longer produce the aircraft. But what will be left in Everett following the displacement?
Besides the Dreamliner, for which Everett is famous for, the site is also a place where the 747, 767, 777 families’ airliners are built. 60 kilometers south of Everett, Boeing also operates the Renton factory where the Boeing 737 MAX is assembled.
“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,” Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is cited in the company’s statement.
As for the Dreamliner, the plane maker expects the 787 production line to close in mid-2021 ‒ at best. The transition to North Charleston is tied-up with a previously announced production rate slow-down. Manufacturing of the smaller 787 models would continue in the Washington site until the aircraft program is decreased to a production rate of six airplanes a month.
Nevertheless, the move did not pass the eyes of local authorities, who were concerned about the jobs that Boeing’s move to another state might threaten. Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said that Boeing’s decision necessitated a review of their partnership and the company’s favorable tax treatment, Reuters reported on October 2.
Everett, birthplace of Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Everett, Washington, is the first Dreamliner manufacturing location. Boeing began assembling the first 787-8s and 787-9s at the location in 2007. In 2010, when Everett was becoming overcrowded with 787s, the company opened the second Dreamliner assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina.
However, the importance of the secondary site grew massively when it became the only location where all three of the Dreamliner versions are assembled at. The Boeing 787-10 is the largest aircraft of the 787 family and its fuselage parts are too big to fit on a Dreamlifter to be transported to Everett.