TRENDING: AEROSPACE IN S.C.
Boeing faces challenges in uncertain climate
oeing continues to grapple with a volatile market underpinned by the ongoing coronavirus pan-
demic. In a preview of the company’s second-quarter earnings report, Boeing Co. President and CEO David Calhoun laid out concerns the company has as demand continues to fall amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. “These past few months have been unlike anything we’ve seen,” Calhoun began in a message sent to employees and shared with the media. “The pandemic’s effect on our communities and industry is ongoing. And the challenges we face as a company are still unfolding.” One of the options on the table is consolidating production of the 787 Dreamliner to one location, which could mean closing operations in North Charleston,
moving all operations to North Charleston or a third option. Calhoun didn’t give specific details, but he said Boeing would reduce production of the 787 to six per month in 2021, down from 10 per month, which led the company to consider the consolidation. “With this lower rate profile, we will also need to evaluate the most efficient way to produce the 787, including studying the feasibility of consolidating production in one location,” Calhoun said. The company hopes to get back to a production of seven each month by 2022. Boeing builds Dreamliners using a global supply chain, including final assembly, paint and delivery center operations in North Charleston. Sections of each 787 jetliner go through the company’s North Charleston site, but the Lowcountry is the only location in the world that does final assembly for the largest of the Dreamliners, the 787-10. The company also has a final assem-
bly operation for the 787 in the company’s largest manufacturing site, in Washington state. Calhoun stressed that the production rate changes were not a reflection of work produced by employees at each of the company’s manufacturing facilities. “The market simply won’t support higher output levels at this time, and we need to adapt accordingly,” he said. With fewer people not traveling because of fears of COVID-19, Boeing wants to reassure the public that the company is taking every precaution to endure passenger and employee safety. Not only are Boeing aircraft equipped with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems, but developing safety protocols across the industry are being adapted and implemented, Boeing spokesperson Libba Holland said. “Boeing aircraft are designed to help minimize the risk of disease transmission,” Holland said. “High efficiency
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