Boeing Co. (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report shares surged to a two week high Friday after the world's second-largest plane maker said it will re-start production at its Seattle based plant within the next week.
Boeing said the decision will allow 27,000 employees to return to work as it resumes commercial aircraft production, which was suspended last month, and continues to pursue its goal of a mid-2020 return-to-service for the grounded 737 MAX jet.
Boeing said it will stagger shift starting times, provide visual guides for social distancing and require employees to wear faces masks in order to ensure that coronavirus illnesses don't re-emerge in its Everett, Washington plant - which is also, at nearly 100 acres, the largest building in the world.
"The health and safety of our employees, their families and communities is our shared priority," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal. "This phased approach ensures we have a reliable supply base, our personal protective equipment is readily available and we have all of the necessary safety measures in place to resume essential work for our customers."
Boeing shares were marked 11.67% higher in early trading Friday to change hands at $149.85 each, a two week high and a move that adds around 110 points to the Dow Jones Industrial Average .
The decision to re-open the Seattle-area plant follows a deal between the U.S. Treasury Department and the nation's largest airlines to secure $25 billion in aid from the CARES Act, a move that CEO David Calhoun called "a step on the long road to recovery from the Covid-19 crisis."
"Our industry took a step on the long road to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis this week," Calhoun said. "The U.S. government and 10 airlines agreed on a $25 billion package of support that will help tide our customers over until passengers can begin to travel again."
Last month, Boeing said it needed a "minimum" of $60 billion in government aid in order to support the U.S. aerospace industry's 2.5 million jobs. The planemaker didn't indicate which portion of the aid it would need directly, but noted that it relies on at least 17,000 suppliers around the country and holds the position of the biggest U.S. exporter.