Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced yesterday that it is suspending operations at its South Carolina 787 Dreamliner manufacturing facility. The shutdown will begin Wednesday and no restart date was announced. This comes a day after competitor Airbus (OTC: EADSY) announced the temporary closing of its Alabama plant where it makes A220 and A320 aircraft.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are widespread in the airline industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world's airlines, has estimated that passenger airline revenue could fall up to $252 billion, depending on how the coronavirus outbreak and recovery progress.
Boeing had previously suspended operations at its facility in Washington, and updated that announcement this week, saying that plant shutdown will be extended until further notice. The company said it is assessing the conditions in both Washington and South Carolina to ensure the health and safety of its employees. It is also monitoring the affects of the pandemic on its supply chains and, in South Carolina, the impacts it may have on the 787 program.
Boeing workers will receive paid leave for 10 working days while production is halted, which is double the existing policy. After that, employees can choose between using existing paid time off benefits, or filing for unemployment benefits.
The company will continue benefits throughout the shutdown, it said, regardless of which option employees choose to pursue.