Final 787 Dreamliner rolls off production line in Everett

EVERETT, Wash. — It’s official: The final 787 Dreamliner aircraft built at Boeing’s Everett plant rolled off the production line.

According to a Boeing statement sent to The Daily Herald, the final 787 that was assembled left the Everett facility on Feb. 26.

In October, Boeing announced it would move all production of the aircraft to its facility in Charleston, South Carolina.

“As our customers manage through the unprecedented global pandemic, to ensure the long-term success of the 787 program, we are consolidating 787 production in South Carolina,” Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in October.

Deal said Boeing workers in Puget Sound will focus on building the 737, 747, 767 and 777 airplane families.

The company began assembling 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes at its Everett plant in 2007.

The 787-9 version is expected to be delivered to All Nippon Airways, as it was the first 787 customer when Boeing launched the wide-body passenger jet program in 2004, the Herald reported.

Close to a thousand 787 aircrafts have been delivered since the model first entered service in 2011.

As for the continuation of the Dreamliner production in South Carolina, the facility there is newer and more automated. It’s also the only place the largest version of the 787 is built. It is also a non-union facility.

When KIRO 7 talked with Scott Hamilton, one of the nation’s leading aerospace analysts, he said, “The labor force in Charleston is less expensive than the labor force here. The cost of doing business in South Carolina is less than the cost of doing business here.”

Boeing had received a 2003 tax break to build the Dreamliner in Everett but gave it up in February 2020 to settle a dispute with the World Trade Organization.

As for the 900 employees supporting the 787 production in Western Washington and working on the 787 final assembly line in the North Sound, some were assigned to other programs or work in the Puget Sound region, Boeing told the Herald. Others will be assigned to perform 787 quality inspections in Everett — an activity that’s expected to continue throughout 2021.