Boeing already announced plans to suspend 737 MAX production in late 2019, but the aircraft manufacturer is now halting all aircraft production at their main facilities.
Boeing suspends aircraft production
Boeing has announced plans to temporarily suspend production of aircraft at their Puget Sound area facilities.
This is being done in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company’s continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of COVID-19. This is where a majority of Boeing’s aircraft are produced.
Boeing will be reducing production activity as of today, and will suspend all operations as of Wednesday, March 25, 2020, for a period of at least 14 days. During this time the company will conduct deep cleaning activities at their facilities, and establish rigorous criteria for returning to work.
As Boeing describes it, this is being done to ensure the well-being of Boeing employees, their families, and the local community.
What Boeing’s CEO has to say
Here’s how Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun describes this decision:
“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live. 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.”
Employees will be paid during this time
Puget Sound area-based employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Those who can’t work remotely will receive paid leave for the initial 10 working days of their suspension, which Boeing describes as being double the company’s policy.
If the suspension is extended, though, we’ll see what they end up doing.
While Boeing is obviously in a terrible financial situation at this point and is even looking for government aid, Boeing suspending product doesn’t seem to be because of lack of demand for planes, but rather is because several Boeing employees have contracted COVID-19, and one has even died.