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Boeing to Resume Airplane Production in Washington

Boeing to phase in commercial airplanes production beginning next week, affecting 27,000 workers.

Boeing Company  (BA) - Get Report  said Thursday it will resume airplane production at its facilities in Washington state beginning next week, in a move affecting about 27,000 jobs.

The aircraft and defense giant said work on its 737, 747, 767 and 777 models will resume as early as April 20 with most employees back by April 21. Employees working on the company’s 787 model will return beginning April 23, with most back by April 24, the company said. 

The company suspended production last month amid the accelerating coronavirus pandemic. Washington state was among the first areas in the U.S. hit by the highly infectious disease.

Boeing resumed many defense production operations this week in the region, affecting about 2,500 people, the company said. (See video analysis.)

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"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," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in a statement.

Boeing’s South Carolina operations remain suspended.

The company listed a number of practices being adopted to prevent the spread of coronavirus at its plants. They include staggered shift start times to reduce the flow of employees arriving and departing work at any given time; requiring face coverings; continued virtual meetings and working from home, where possible; employee wellness checks and voluntary temperature screening at the start of each shift; and providing personal protective equipment to employees in areas where physical distancing can’t be maintained.

Shares of Boeing rose $9.87, or 7% to $144.11 in after-hours trading.