Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Subaru Suspend 787 Work For A Few Weeks

787 forward fuselage barrels built by KHI.
Credit: KHI

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Subaru have suspended production of 787 components in response to Boeing’s earlier decisions, now partly reversed, to stop work on the program amid the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

KHI said it will not make 787 parts from April 20 to May 6. The company’s Yatomi works near Nagoya, Japan ordinarily supplies the 787’s forward fuselage section, main landing gear well and the fixed trailing edge of the wing.

“This decision was taken in light of the temporary manufacturing suspension of 787 production operations at the Boeing Company, affected by the spread of COVID-19 and the effects on the global supply chain,” KHI said. “The production of other products will be continued.”

Subaru plants at Handa—also near Nagoya—make 787 center wing boxes, but will not do so from April 20 to May 11, the company said. Subaru had already scheduled a holiday for May 2-10.

Boeing announced production suspensions at Puget Sound on March 23 and South Carolina on April 6. Both sites assemble 787s. On April 16 the company said it would resume production at Puget Sound as of the third shift on April 20, with a restart of 787 work coming as early as April 23. Other Boeing types were affected by the Puget Sound decision.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) also builds another major component of the 787—the outer wing boxes. Asked whether it, too, was suspending production, an MHI spokesperson said that the company is discussing the matter with partners and has made no decision.

Bradley Perrett

Bradley Perrett covered China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. He is a Mandarin-speaking Australian.