US: Boeing suspends all operations in Seattle area

By Vakkas Dogantekin

ANKARA (AA) – U.S. aerospace giant Boeing on Thursday announced a two-week suspension of production operations in all facilities in the Seattle area amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to FOXBusiness TV.

The decision temporarily halts two Boeing commercial aviation production facilities in the Seattle area, one in Renton and another in Everett, which produces airplanes like the 777s, 787s, 767s, and 747s.

The Everett facility, where 30,000 people work, also makes the Air Force’s KC-46 Pegasus refueling tanker.

The company announced Monday it is temporarily suspending operations at its Puget Sound-area facilities for at least 14 days over the outbreak.

Boeing said in a statement it is winding down production starting Monday and hopes to have all operations in the area halted by Wednesday. The company said it will continue to assess the government guidance and the COVID-19 situation while it suspends operations.

Its Renton facility, where 12,000 people work, produces the 737 line and Navy’s P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft.

Today's announcement came only a day after the first Boeing employee reportedly died due to COVID-19.

Boeing’s latest update reported 32 confirmed cases company-wide, including 25 employees based in Washington state, according to online military magazine Defense Blog.

The U.S. has seen more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths and confirmed more than 69,000 cases, making it the number three country worldwide in terms of cases.

The Senate late Wednesday passed a historic $2 trillion stimulus package to help workers, businesses, and the healthcare system. It has gone back to the House for approval.