Airbus continues its operational expansion at Mobile AL, with a final assembly line for the Airbus A220 opening at the site.
With the first team of engineers trained on A220 manufacturing and final assembly after spending time in Mirabel, Quebec, the secondary line will have begun work (with Mirabel being the primary assembly site of the A220).
Plans to build the A220 in Mobile were announced as a way to get around the possible levies when Bombardier/Airbus and Boeing had a trade dispute over the type. This trade dispute was thrown out – and Airbus has proceeded to build an assembly line in the USA.
In the first instance, Airbus is producing the first few aircraft within some current A320 Family buildings and newly-built support hangars. The main lines and support building started construction this earlier this year.
In terms of aircraft, the first U.S.-made A220 – an A220-300 destined for Delta Air Lines – is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2020. By the middle of the next decade, the facility will produce between 40 and 50 A220 aircraft per year.
Airbus Americas Chairman & CEO C. Jeffrey Knittel said
“The expansion of our commercial aircraft production in Mobile to a second product line – with 400 additional jobs to support it – further solidifies Airbus’ standing as a truly global aircraft manufacturer, and confirms without a doubt that Airbus is an important part of America’s manufacturing landscape,”
“With Mobile, and our production network in Asia, Canada and Europe, we have strategically created a worldwide industrial base to better serve our customers.”
With the ability to spring up final assembly lines where it likes, Airbus is positioning itself beyond its tradtiional European assembly bases – it has assembly lines for the following:
- Toulouse, France: two for the A320 Family; one each for the wide-body A330, A350 XWB and A380
- Hamburg, Germany: all four production lines for the A320 Family
- Tianjin, China: A320 Family
- Mobile, United States: A320 Family
- Mirabel, Canada: Airbus A220
Remember, aircraft are assembled from parts across the world – so setting up a base where parts are closest too (or where is commercially economical too) makes some sort of sense.
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