Boeing announced Monday it is suspending production of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft “until further notice” due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on workers and suppliers.
Shuttering the South Carolina plant on Wednesday halts production at the last of the aviation giant’s US commercial aircraft facilities.
Boeing, which employs more than 161,000 people, the vast majority in the United States, already suspended activity indefinitely at its factories in Washington state.
The company had been struggling with the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft after two deadly crashes when the COVID-19 outbreak hit, halting most air travel worldwide and leading some airlines to cancel orders for new aircraft.
At the same time, companies across the US have closed their doors to try to contain the infections.
“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,” said Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager of the 787 program.
He said employees who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for 10 working days, which is double the company policy, and will continue to receive all benefits.
Boeing last week announced a company-wide voluntary layoff program, and is seeking more than $60 billion in federal support as it fights for its life amid the twin crises.