Boeing halts 787 production at South Carolina facility

Work on the aircraft will be suspended until further notice after the second shift on Wednesday

Boeing has said it is suspending production of its 787 aircraft at its facility in South Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came soon after the state’s governor ordered residents to stay home except for essential trips.

Boeing said that during the 787 suspension, it “will continue to conduct enhanced cleaning activities at the site and monitor the global supply chain as the situation evolves”.

Workers who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for 10 working days of the suspension.

Boeing production will be suspended until further notice after the second shift on Wednesday. On Sunday, the largest US plane maker also indefinitely extended the halt of its production operations at its Washington state facilities.

Deliveries of long-range jets such as the Boeing 777 or 787 and Airbus A350 or A330 have been hit particularly badly as airlines seek deferrals and many withhold progress payments.

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Airbus said it would temporarily stop production at its A220/A320 manufacturing facility in Alabama. Production in Alabama will be suspended this week till April 29.

Boeing has stated that about 135 members of its 160,000-person global workforce had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Its airline customers have deferred taking new aircraft and making pre-delivery down payments.

Last month Boeing asked for at least $60bn in US government loan guarantees for itself and other American aerospace manufacturers to help the industry withstand a coronavirus-related cash drain.

Further reading: Boeing says grounding of 737 Max jets will cost $18 billion

Further reading: Emirates buys 39 Boeing 787-9 jets worth $8.8 billion

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