Boeing’s Move to Arlington from Chicago: The If’s & Why’s…

Boeing Headquarters in downtown Chicago. Janel Forte/Medill News Service
Boeing Headquarters in downtown Chicago. Janel Forte/Medill News Service

LONDON – According to a report from The Wall Street Journal and confirmation from The Air Current, Boeing plans to move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia in a major political approach.

Boeing has not released a comment at the time of publishing, but will update accordingly when the official announcement is made.

This piece, therefore, will look into the ifs and why’s of why this could become a benefit to Boeing if they moved headquarters once again.

Higher Sphere of Political Influence?

With a decision due to be announced next week, Boeing would of course acquire a higher sphere of political influence, especially being in closer proximity to D.C.

However, it does appear that this move looks solid. A report from Reuters back in October describes the Chicago HQ as a ghost town in the wake of a cost-cutting campaign that is probably still taking place now.

Boeing could create new relationships within the political spheres of the Capitol, and could further push its agenda and get itself potentially back into a level of neo-liberal regulatory practice that it was in pre-MAX crisis.

The American aerospace giant most definitely needs the help and support it can get right now, and there is no better option than turning to its own government to secure this.

Preserving Friendships?

With this in mind, Boeing does need to politically restructure itself as it would have definitely reduced its own capital on this side dealing with the crisis.

As can be imagined, the U.S Government wanted to distance itself from Boeing during the crisis, especially with the perspective that the FAA never took any of the certification matters into its hands at the time.

Boeing needs to ultimately regain the trust of the authorities, especially if it has any chance of certifying and delivering aircraft at a competitive rate to that of Airbus.

It is so vital that Boeing recovers itself from this pit they find itself in, otherwise it will continue to fall behind its European competitor in market share.

An Opportunity of Endorsement in the Wake of a Negative Era?

If Boeing makes the right friends in public office, then it can definitely secure some business outside of the commercial world, like defense and space for example.

This is where the manufacturer can take advantage of other revenue streams to offset the significant losses it has faced on the commercial side.

Any form of endorsement would place Boeing back on the right track, which is why forming connections with those in Congress and the lobbying sector is key.

As mentioned in the previous two points, this is exactly why it’s a good opportunity for the planemaker to take advantage of.

Why Not A Return to Seattle?

It’s most definitely a question to pose. Why not return to Seattle?

The political move to an area closer to D.C makes sense, and offices are probably far cheaper in Arlington than they are in Chicago or Seattle alike.

On a purely speculative note, it could be suggested that with the facility the manufacturer has in South Carolina, it could represent a hidden strategy of moving its operations east-wards rather than west-wards.

Both the Seattle & South Carolina sites are significant in their own ways, but Boeing could of course save costs further by a potential move eastwards completely.

Whilst that aspect is speculation, this fact is clear: Boeing wants more presence under the Biden Administration, and will definitely do what they can in order to achieve this.


What remains clear is that this potential move to Virginia is all going to be part of the company’s efforts to stabilize itself.

Boeing needs positive results, and consolidating efforts closer to the political capital of the free world will be a major helper in achieving this.

Decisions need to be made in order to get its commercial wing back on track, but more importantly securing different revenue streams that will keep the company afloat moving forward.

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