Boeing’s Great Hurricane Florence Dreamliner Migration

Sep 11, 2018

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It’s going to be a very wet and windy weekend for several East Coast states, ranging from South Carolina to Maryland. Airlines are preparing for mass cancellations, and offering customers an opportunity to change their flights for free — if you’re planning to travel from, to or through the affected areas later this week or weekend, now’s a very good time to consider alternate arrangements.

As residents prepare to travel out of the storm’s path, Boeing’s taking steps to move its property to safety as well — a fairly straightforward task, considering that the manufacturer’s finished product is able to fly.

We’re talking brand-new Dreamliners — a bunch of them. As aviation expert Jason Rabinowitz points out on Twitter, Boeing’s moving a half dozen 787s today alone, in addition to its beloved Dreamlifter, a modified 747-400 freighter charged with transporting 787 aircraft components from suppliers and between Boeing facilities around the world.

We reached out to a Boeing spokesperson, who confirmed that the company is in the process of relocating several of its 787s to Puget Sound — Paine Field (PAE), just outside of Seattle, to be exact.

The company also shared a statement outlining its storm preparations:

“The safety of our Boeing teammates and their families is our top priority, and our leaders across the enterprise are closely monitoring the storm and working in conjunction with state and local governmental authorities to stay ahead of emergency situations. Due to impacts from Hurricane Florence, an evacuation order has been issued for coastal South Carolina, including Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties, beginning at noon Tuesday, Sept. 11. In line with that order, Boeing will suspend operations at Boeing South Carolina today so our employees can properly evacuate. We will resume operations once it is safe to do so.”

Among the Dreamliners on the move today:

  • B-1111: Boeing 787-9 (Shanghai Airlines)
  • B-1132: Boeing 787-9 (Hainan Airlines)
  • B-1133: Boeing 787-9 (Hainan Airlines)
  • B-1138: Boeing 787-9 (Hainan Airlines)
  • N14001: Boeing 787-10 (United Airlines)
  • A6-BMA: Boeing 787-10 (Etihad Airways)

Other aircraft known to be at Boeing’s Charleston facility (CHS), including the first Air Tahiti Nui 787-9, may not yet be ready to make the journey to Washington state. The company’s hangars are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, however, so any aircraft able to fit should have no problem weathering the storm inside.

Featured image of a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner parked at CHS by Zach Honig.

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