Boeing extends Seattle-area production shutdown until further notice amid coronavirus pandemic

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A worker walks near a 747-8 airplane at the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Boeing is extending production shut down at its Seattle-area airplane factories “until further notice” because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Sunday.

The manufacturer last month said it would pause production for two weeks at the facilities, where it produces wide-body planes. It had already suspended production in January of the 737 Max, which has been grounded for more than a year after two fatal crashes.

“These actions are being taken in light of the company’s continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities,” Boeing said in a statement.

Several Boeing employees have tested positive for the disease.

Coronavirus and harsh measures to stop it such as travel bans and stay-at-home orders have roiled air travel. Airlines are parking hundreds of planes and deferring orders of new jets, promising difficult months ahead for aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and its European rival Airbus.

The virus is an additional problem for Boeing, which has been struggling with the fallout of the 737 Max crisis. The company last week started offering employees voluntary separations from the company in an effort to save cash.

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