Boeing To Halt Seattle Production Following Employee Virus Death

Boeing has made the decision to halt production in Seattle-area facilities after a worker died from the novel coronavirus. This suspension will start on March 25th for a period of 14 days.

Boeing Final Assembly
Boeing is temporarily shutting down production at key sites in the Seattle-area. Photo: Boeing

Halting production at Seattle-area sites

Renton and Everett, two of Boeing’s largest and most iconic sites, are suspending production from March 25th, the aircraft manufacturer announced. This move comes after a former Boeing employee passed away from the novel coronavirus.

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Boeing will pause work happening at Everett. Photo: Simple Flying

Boeing issued the following statement on the move:

These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers.

Cleaning the facilities

During the 14-day suspension, the facilities at impacted sites will undergo deep cleaning activities. In addition, the manufacturer is also preparing to establish rigorous criteria for allowing workers to return to the production lines. These moves are designed to limit the spread of the virus from one worker to the next.

Boeing factory
Boeing factories in the Seattle-area will close for 14 days. Photo: Getty Images

For those employees who can work from home, Boeing is continuing to encourage them to work remotely. However, for production workers who cannot work remotely, Boeing is providing 10 working days of paid leave. This accounts for all the working days during the suspension.

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Boeing employees who cannot work from home will receive 10 working days of paid leave. Photo: Boeing

President and CEO Dave Calhoun had the following to say:

We continue to work closely with public health officials, and we’re in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders who are affected by this temporary suspension. We regret the difficulty this will cause them, as well as our employees, but it’s vital to maintain health and safety for all those who support our products and services, and to assist in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19

Boeing’s new President and CEO Dave Calhoun. Photo: Boeing

What will this mean for Boeing?

This closure is an unforeseen event. While the aircraft manufacturer is working with its customers and supply chain to limit the disruptions, it is highly likely that some aircraft may be delayed rolling out of the factory. Although, that isn’t all bad news for airlines. Amid plunging demand, some are preferring a delay to aircraft delivery.

Dreamlifter Boeing
Boeing is working with its customers and supply chain to manage the situation and minimize its impacts. Photo: Simple Flying


After the death of a Boeing employee, the manufacturer has decided to shut down production sites in the Seattle-area for 14 days. In the meantime, Boeing will offer paid leave and will work to thoroughly clean facilities to strive for production lines safe from community spread.

When it comes to limiting the spread of the virus, this is a good move on Boeing’s part. Health agencies and governments are encouraging people to stay home to help contain the pandemic. What happens after 14 days, however, will largely depend on what goes on over the next two weeks. Boeing is evaluating the situation and will take action as necessary.

Do you think Boeing made the right choice to suspend production at Seattle-area facilities? Let us know in the comments!