The COVID-19 pandemic just claimed another victim in the aerospace industry: Boeing‘s (NYSE: BA) experiment with building the 787 Dreamliner wide-body jet in two different facilities. On Thursday, the aircraft manufacturer confirmed recent news reports, saying that it will end 787 production at its main wide-body plant in Everett, Washington, by mid-2021. Its newer factory in North Charleston, South Carolina will become its sole 787 assembly plant thereafter.
This long-rumored move represents a major blow to Washington’s aerospace industry. It also suggests that Boeing does not expect 787 production to return to 2019 levels at any point in the foreseeable future.
COVID-19 forces a rethink at Boeing
Just last year, Boeing increased production of the 787 family of small and medium wide-body jets to meet high demand. During 2019 and early 2020, the company built 787s at a rate of 14 per month, up from 12 per month previously.