Boeing has announced a temporary suspension of KC-46 tanker and P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft production operations at its Puget Sound area facilities in light of the accelerating spread of Coronavirus.

Boeing said in a news release that 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.

“Boeing plans to begin reducing production activity today and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area. The suspension of production operations will last 14 days, during which Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations. During this time, we will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.”

Puget Sound area facilities includes facilities where the KC-46 and P-8 are being produced the company have confirmed and it has been speculated that there may be a delay with regards to the delivery of the aircraft to customers..

“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live,” said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun.

“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,” Calhoun added.

The United Kingdom has ordered 9 boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft, much of the fleet are still in build at the now closed Boeing facilities.

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