Boeing to consolidate 787 production in South Carolina in 2021

©Boeing North Charleston, South Carolina facility

Boeing has reported that it will consolidate production of 787 jets at its facility in North Charleston, S.C., starting in mid-2021, according to the company’s best estimate. The decision comes as the company is strategically taking action to preserve liquidity and reposition certain lines of business in the current global environment to enhance efficiency and improve performance for the long-term.

While Boeing’s versatile 787 family of jets has outperformed other wide-body airplanes during the challenging market downturn, its production system has been adjusted to accommodate the current difficult market environment while positioning the 787 family to ramp up production as air travel increases.

The company began assembling 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes at its Everett site in 2007, and brought the North Charleston facility on line as a second final assembly line in 2010. However, only the North Charleston site is set up to build the larger 787-10 model. Production of the smaller 787 models will continue in Everett until the program transitions to the previously-announced production rate of six airplanes a month in 2021.

In July, Boeing announced an in-depth study into the feasibility of producing 787s at a single location. The review examined the impacts and benefits to Boeing customers, suppliers, employees and the overall health of the production system. The 787 study is part of an enterprise review underway to reassess all aspects of Boeing’s facility footprint, organizational structure, portfolio and investment mix, and supply chain health and stability. 

This analysis confirmed the feasibility and efficiency gains created by consolidation, which enables the company to accelerate improvements and target investments to better support customers.

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