The Puget Sound is grappling with potential impact of Boeing’s performance

The pandemic-induced halt in airline travel has Boeing’s customers cancelling orders at an alarming rate

September 14, 2020
Net number of orders YTD


  • The grounding of the 737 Max in 2019 was a major blow to Boeing last year. Their already fragile state is being put to the test by the pandemic and it will be a long time before business returns to normal levels. Amidst an unprecedented drop in demand for air travel, net orders are down by 378 through August, meaning more airliners have cancelled orders than purchased in 2020.

  • Layoffs were already underway post-737 Max grounding but cancelled orders have picked up considerably post-COVID and new orders only total 19 since March. So far 7,998 employees have been laid off with more expected over the coming months. Boeing also works with 1,500 vendors in Washington State, supporting 120,000 direct and indirect jobs. Amidst production slowdowns, the market has seen the trickle-down effect as several aerospace manufacturing vendors have already laid off employees.

  • Amidst the pandemic and 737 Max related issues, Boeing launched a study to explore the feasibility of moving manufacturing of the 787 Dreamliner to a single plant in Charleston, SC. This would effectively stop production of the Dreamliner at the Everett facility and would be a huge blow to local aerospace employment, especially amid pandemic related layoffs.