Boeing to Resume Commercial Airplane Production in Phased COVID-19 Approach

Boeing will resume all Commercial Airplanes production in a phased approach at its Puget Sound-region facilities next week, after suspending operations last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Boeing

Starting April 20, Boeing plans to resume its commercial airplane production operations in Puget Sound in a phased approach based on aircraft types, after suspending operations for 14 days due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The return to production is limited to the Puget Sound-region facilities, with Boeing’s 787 production site in South Carolina remaining closed. Commercial production will resume a week after defense production operations in the region restarted on April 13.

“This phased approach ensures we have a reliable supply base, our personal protective equipment is readily available and we have all of the necessary safety measures in place to resume essential work for our customers,” Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said in a press release confirming the plan to resume production.

Their phased approach will see employees on the 737, 747, 767 and 777 production lines return starting April 20, with those working the 787 program returning April 23, and most employees across all segments returning by April 24.

Employees who can telecommunicate will continue to work from home and the company is also introducing social distancing and enhanced health and safety procedures throughout its production sites as well.

“Enhanced measures will continue until conditions allow for a return to regular work and cleaning processes. Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance on COVID-19, assess impact on company operations and adjust plans as the situation evolves,” Boeing said in a press release confirming the plan to resume production.

Boeing also published a letter from Deal to employees on the same day as the announcement for resuming production. The letter discussed how 2,500 aircraft in the U.S. have been “idled” and said the $25 billion deal reached between the aerospace industry, airlines and the U.S. government last week “will help tide our customers over until passengers can begin to travel again.”

“Our industry will need the government’s support, which will be critical to ensuring access to credit markets and likely take the form of loans versus outright grants. The aerospace industry is a vital pillar of the economy, supported by 17,000 suppliers and 2.5 million jobs. For every dollar Boeing spends, approximately 70 cents goes directly to our suppliers,” the letter reads. “Our team continues to focus on the best ways to keep liquidity flowing through our business and to our supply chain until our customers are buying airplanes again. We continue to believe strongly in the future of aviation and of Boeing as the industry leader and are willing to borrow against that future.”


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