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Boeing indefinitely suspends production operations in Washington state

Boeing Co. is suspending production operations at its Puget Sound and Moses Lake sites in Washington until further notice amid the growing number of cases of coronavirus infection in the state and nationwide.

The planemaker announced March 24 the suspension of production operations at its Puget Sound area facilities for the next 14 days after Washington state issued a stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the infection.

In the meantime, Boeing plans to "assess applicable government direction, the spread of the coronavirus in the community and the reliability of our suppliers" to ensure a safe and orderly return to operations, said Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing's commercial airplanes division.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun last week announced a voluntary layoff plan "that allows eligible employees who want to exit the company to do so with a pay and benefits package," saying, "it will take time for the aerospace industry to recover from the crisis."

"It's important we start adjusting to our new reality now," Calhoun said, adding that the uncertainty around the extent of the damage from the pandemic will remain for a few months and the company will release details of the plan in three to four weeks.

Boeing is also reviewing its manufacturing prices for wide-body jets as demand in the aerospace industry plummets, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Production plans have not been revised as yet, Bloomberg added, citing the person.

The outlook for the planemaker's services business could also deteriorate in the short term amid airlines postponing aircraft maintenance and overhauls, according to the report.

Boeing has also suspended operations at its site in Ridley Township, Pa., through April 20.