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New Boeing 787s Escape South Carolina Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Natasha Bach

It’s not just people who are evacuating states like South Carolina and Virginia ahead of Hurricane Florence.

A number of companies are also closing up shop, including Boeing. The aircraft manufacturer has suspended operations, allowing not just its employees to evacuate, but some its planes too.

At least eight of Boeing’s 787 aircrafts were flown out of the South Carolina factory where they are built on Tuesday. To escape any potential damage, they flew to the other side of the country, to Paine Field, an airport next to Boeing’s Everett, Wash. assembly plant.

Flight tracker Flightradar24.com reports that the evacuated planes include two 787-9s, which were heading to Hainan Airlines Holding Co., as well as a 787-10 for United Continental Holdings Inc., which is the first of its kind for a U.S. customer. The plane lists at $325.8 million.

Other planes that “may not be ready to make the journey,” according to The Points Guy, will remain in South Carolina. However, the hangars are reportedly designed to be able to withstand hurricane-force winds, so the planes should escape the hurricane unscathed.

Boeing spokeswoman Libba Holland said that company had suspended operations in South Carolina “so our teammates can properly evacuate,” adding that Boeing will “resume operations once it is safe to do so.”

Boeing employs approximately 6,700 people at its facility in South Carolina.