Boeing to move 787 production to South Carolina in 2021

SEATTLE, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Thursday it will move the rest of its 787 Dreamliner production to South Carolina in 2021, a cost-cutting strategy that raises questions over the future its giant Everett plant north of Seattle.

Reuters first reported on Sept. 21 that Boeing was near a decision to move Dreamliner production to South Carolina as its strategy of supporting two plants has been severely tested by the coronavirus slump in international travel, on top of a cyclical downturn in demand for big jets.

Boeing said the single site would improve operational efficiency as the U.S. planemaker adjusts to the market downtown and positions for recovery.

It also said 787 production would continue at the Everett site until a previously announced rate cut to six airplanes a month in 2021.

It said it would consolidate production at its North Charleston facility starting in mid-2021, according to its best current estimate.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle Editing by Nick Zieminski