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April 7, 2020

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Boeing extends shutdown ‘indefinitely’

Boeing has said it will indefinitely extend a shutdown at its factories in Washington state because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aerospace giant had already halted production at its Puget Sound facility near Seattle, where the company builds the long-range 777 jet and other models, after announcing a two-week stoppage last month.

It had also shut its other major state factory at Moses Lake because of the 737 MAX grounding.

Boeing said on Sunday that the shutdown would continue indefinitely to protect staff from COVID-19, which has already killed one employee.

“The health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities is our shared priority,” Boeing’s commercial airplanes division president Stan Deal said.

Boeing was already facing significant headwinds before the pandemic because of the crisis surrounding the 737 MAX, which has been grounded for more than a year after two fatal crashes.

But the pandemic has further hit the company with most commercial airline travel suspended and major carriers in a life-or-death fight. It wants more than US$60 billion in federal support for the US aerospace industry.


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