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Boeing Moving To Washington, D.C.

The aircraft-making giant is downsizing, loading the moving van and heading to where the action is.

Boeing's headquarters in Chicago - Boeing Moving To Washington, D.C.
Boeing’s headquarters in Chicago.

Call it a casualty of the pandemic-born remote-work movement, the latest maneuver by a company in crisis or nothing at all, but the Boeing Company has announced it will move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. In its announcement, Boeing did not veil the fact that this will place Boeing management closer to key government officials in the country’s capital.

You might have thought that Boeing was headquartered in Washington State, where most of its manufacturing facilities are, but since early in the new millennium, the company has called Chicago home. The move to the Windy City from Seattle was questioned at the time, with many critics saying that there were two obvious alternatives, staying in Washington…State or moving to Washington….D.C.

Reportedly, Boeing’s 21-year-old HQ office in Chicago, now rather infamous after the 737 MAX debacle and Netflix documentary Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, has been operating at well below its 500-person, high-water mark thanks largely to the pandemic. This, combined with Boeing’s previous announcements of aggressive cost-cutting to speed emergence from the financial crisis brought on by the MAX scandal, suggests Boeing will not need to add much office space in Arlington, where it already has some physical presence.

The move places Boeing’s headquarters farther than ever from its commercial airplane manufacturing business in Washington State, but extremely close to officials at the Pentagon and other offices that can help make dreams of lucrative military contracts come true. Considering the rather bloody and unending sales war between Boeing and Airbus on the commercial airplane front, the decision to position the company to potentially score additional military work is probably a good one. As for us, we’re still waiting for the launch of a 737 variant where the toilet lid stays up when lifted.

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