Coronavirus brings Boeing’s US airplane production to a halt

Boeing Dreamliner 787 Air China planes sit on the production line at the company’s final assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Travis Dove | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Boeing on Monday said it will suspend production of 787 planes in South Carolina because of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that puts all of the manufacturer’s final assembly of commercial airplanes on hold.

The announcement came after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered most residents to stay at home except for certain activities such as buying essential goods or visiting family.

Boeing on Sunday said it would indefinitely extend a shutdown at commercial airplane factories in the Seattle area — home to the bulk of its production — because of the virus, which as infected around 100 Boeing employees, according to a spokesman. Boeing employs about 160,000 people.

“It is our commitment to focus on the health and safety of our teammates while assessing the spread of the virus across the state, its impact on the reliability of our global supply chain and that ripple effect on the 787 program,” Brad Zaback, general manager of the 787 program, said in a release.

Boeing said staff that cannot work remotely will be paid for 10 days of work and that that they can file for unemployment benefits or use paid time off.

“All benefits will continue as normal during the suspension of operations, regardless of how teammates choose to record their time,” Boeing said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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