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Covid-19: Boeing halts Seattle area production for two weeks, includes KC-46A and P-8A

23 March 2020
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A P-8A assigned to US Navy Patrol Squadron (VP) 10 sits on the flight line at the Singapore Air Show on 11 Feb 2020. Boeing announced that it would suspend production for two weeks at its Seattle, Washington, facilities, including work on the P-8A and the KC-46A, starting on 25 March. Source: US Navy

Key Points

  • Boeing is pausing production at its Seattle area facilities for two weeks starting on 25 March.
  • The company can recover quickly as both aircraft have production rates at 1-2 per month.

Boeing will temporarily suspend all production operations at its Seattle, Washington, facilities, including KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker and P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance twin-jet work, for two weeks starting on 25 March.

This is being done in response to the state of emergency in Washington and Boeing's continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the region, according to a company statement. The Seattle metropolitan area has been one of the hardest hit areas in the United States from Covid-19.

Boeing is reducing production activity starting on 23 March. During this upcoming suspension, Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on Covid-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations.

During this time, Boeing will conduct additional deep cleaning activities at affected sites and will establish rigorous criteria for return to work. Production employees were told to report to work for their assigned shifts on 23 March and receive additional guidance on their roles in the suspension shutdown process.

Seattle area-based employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Those who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for the initial 10 working days of the suspension, double the company policy, which will provide coverage for the 14-calendar-day suspension period.

A Boeing spokesman said on 23 March that the company was actively engaged with its defence customers to minimise any impact on their missions. Certain non-production work for all commercial derivative aircraft programmes, including the KC-46A remote vision system (RVS) enhancements, will continue being done by employees working remotely. Boeing did not return an additional request for comment on 23 March prior to publication.

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