Oct. 1 (UPI) — Boeing said Thursday it will consolidate production for its 787 airliner to a single plant in South Carolina, a cost-cutting measure to mitigate losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move will end the model’s production at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility sometime next year.
The announcement is a double blow for the Everett facility, which famously assembled 747 airliners for decades. Boeing has said it will end 747 production in 2022.
“The Boeing 787 is a tremendous success it is today thanks to our great teammates in Everett,” Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement. “They helped give birth to an airplane that changed how airlines and passengers want to fly.
“As our customers manage through the unprecedented global pandemic, to ensure the long-term success of the 787 program, we are consolidating 787 production in South Carolina.”
The Everett facility, according to Deal, will now focus on making Boeing’s 737, 767 and 777 models.
The South Carolina facility started assembling 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes in 2010, three years after the Everett plant had begun. The site in North Charleston can also build the larger 787-10 model, Boeing said, something the Everett plant is not capable of.
“We recognize that production decisions can impact our teammates, industry and our community partners,” Deal added. “We extensively evaluated every aspect of the program and engaged with our stakeholders on how we can best partner moving forward. These efforts will further refine 787 production and enhance the airplane’s value proposition.”
Boeing said an in-depth study on 787 production found the consolidation will allow it to accelerate improvements and target investments.