Boeing to consider consolidating production of 787s to one location

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 1:29 PM EDT
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CHICAGO (WCSC) - Boeing released second-quarter profits the airline manufacturer says shows a continued “significant” impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and the grounding of the 737 MAX.

One of the actions the company will take is to consider a consolidation of 787 production to a single location, a move that could directly impact its North Charleston facility.

In April, Boeing announced it would reduce 787 production to only 10 per month. But in Wednesday’s report, it announced another reduction, to just 6 per month in 2021.

“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 just one location,” the release states.

The 787 Dreamliner is currently produced in North Charleston and at the company’s Everett, Washington, facility.

“The 777/777X combined production rate will be gradually reduced to 2 per month in 2021, with 777X first delivery targeted for 2022,” the report states.

At this time, production rate assumptions have not changed on the 767 and 747 programs.

Commercial Airplanes delivered 20 airplanes during the quarter, and backlog included over 4,500 airplanes valued at $326 billion.

The prolonged impact of COVID-19, which is causing further reductions in their production rates and lower demand for commercial services means the company will have to “further assess the size” of its workforce, the release states.

The report shows a 25% drop in second quarter revenue in 2020, compared with second quarter in 2019. It also reported a $5.3 billion drop in operating cash flow.

For the first half of 2020, Boeing reported $28.7 billion in revenues, a 26% drop compared with the first half of 2019.

The 737 program resumed early stages of production in May and expects to continue to produce at low rates for the remainder of 2020, a release from the company states.

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