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Boeing will consolidate Dreamliner manufacturing in South Carolina if demand falls

Boeing Co.'s manufacturing facility is located in North Charleston, South Carolina, USA on Monday, May 4th, 2020. Boeing is resuming its 787 operations at the plant for the first time since April 8, including all operations ceased due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ABC News reported.

Sam Wolfe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Boeing announced Thursday that it would consolidate production of the 787 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility for next year in an effort to cut costs in the face of weak demand, which is a blow to the Seattle area manufacturing center.

Boeing announced in July that it is evaluating the consolidation of the production lines for the wide-body jets that currently operate in Everett, Washington and North Charleston, South Carolina, a non-union facility.

At the time, Boeing announced that it would further cut its already scaled-down production plans for the 787, an aircraft that is often used on international routes and has been harder hit by the pandemic than domestic travel. Due to "the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and the impact it has on our airline customers," there would be six 787s a month out of ten for the next year.

Boeing announced the second production line for the 787 almost 11 years ago. Consolidation of manufacturing is of paramount importance to Boeing's employees and the economy surrounding the Seattle manufacturing facilities. According to the latest information, Boeing has around 7,000 employees in South Carolina and almost 70,000 in Washington state.

The grim aircraft market after two fatal crashes of the best-selling 737 Max sparked a wave of cost reductions. Boeing announced earlier this year that it would cut its 160,000 employees by 10% and this summer warned that further cuts are possible.

Boeing also plans to stop manufacturing the iconic 747 jetliner, also made in Everett, in 2022.

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