Boeing to Consolidate 787 Production in South Carolina in 2021
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued Oct. 01, 2020)
SEATTLE --- As the airline industry continues to address the impact of COVID-19, The Boeing Company said today it will consolidate production of 787 jets at its facility in North Charleston, S.C., starting in mid-2021, according to the company's best estimate.

The decision comes as the company is strategically taking action to preserve liquidity and reposition certain lines of business in the current global environment to enhance efficiency and improve performance for the long-term.

While Boeing's versatile 787 family has outperformed other widebody airplanes during the challenging market downturn, its production system has been adjusted to accommodate the current difficult market environment while positioning the 787 family to ramp up production as air travel increases.

"The Boeing 787 is the tremendous success it is today thanks to our great teammates in Everett. 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," said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"Our team in Puget Sound will continue to focus on efficiently building our 737, 747, 767 and 777 airplane families, and both sites will drive Boeing initiatives to further enhance safety, quality, and operational excellence."

The company began assembling 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes at its Everett site in 2007, and brought the North Charleston facility on line as a second final assembly line in 2010. However, only the North Charleston site is set up to build the larger 787-10 model. Production of the smaller 787 models will continue in Everett until the program transitions to the previously-announced production rate of six airplanes a month in 2021.

In July, Boeing announced an in-depth study into the feasibility of producing 787s at a single location. The review examined the impacts and benefits to Boeing customers, suppliers, employees and the overall health of the production system. The 787 study is part of an enterprise review underway to reassess all aspects of Boeing's facility footprint, organizational structure, portfolio and investment mix, and supply chain health and stability.

This analysis confirmed the feasibility and efficiency gains created by consolidation, which enables the company to accelerate improvements and target investments to better support customers.

"We recognize that production decisions can impact our teammates, industry and our community partners," said Deal. "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 it is assessing potential impacts to employment in Everett and North Charleston and will communicate any changes directly to its employees.


Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.

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SPEEA Among Many Disappointed with Boeing
(Source: SPEEA; issued October 01, 2020)
SEATTLE --- The Boeing Company’s decision to consolidate 787 production in North Charleston and abandon its Dreamliner line in Everett is disappointing and frustrating to the thousands of engineers, technical workers and pilots represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.

Union leaders have asked Boeing for specifics about the move and which employees will be impacted. As many engineers and technical workers’ jobs span multiple programs, and Boeing having issues with its own “Worklife” employee system, it’s difficult to immediately know which employee groups are affected.

“This is disappointing to our members and all Boeing employees in the Puget Sound region,” said SPEEA President Ryan Rule.

Since launching the 787 program in 2003, through its first flight in 2009 and delivery to launch customer ANA in 2011, the professional aerospace employees represented by SPEEA have been integral to the program.

“We believe Boeing is making a mistake,” said SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth. “SPEEA’s immediate focus is supporting the members who will be laid-off. Long term we will partner with community stakeholders to attract new aerospace jobs to the state by marketing the aerospace talent pool Boeing is walking away from.”

The news leaked out the night before FAA Administrator Steve Dickson flew the 737MAX on a test flight as part of the process to recertify the airplane and return it to service. Boeing recently laid off its last seven, highly skilled, Flight Training Pilots (FTA) and announced training for the pilots of airline customers is being outsourced to Cambridge Communications, Ltd., a pilot contract house based in the Isle of Man.

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents more than 17,600 aerospace engineers, technical workers, professionals and pilots at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and Triumph Composite Systems in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, and California.

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