European airframer Airbus S.A.S. inaugurated operations at its U.S. assembly line located in Mobile, Alabama. This is the fourth assembly line for Airbus after Toulouse in France, Hamburg in Germany, and Tianjin in China. The line will assembly the high volume narrow body A320 family aircraft A319, A320, A321, and employs about 250 persons.
Airbus President and CEO, Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders, and members of the Airbus workforce were joined by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Jeff Sessions, Congressman Bradley Byrne, along with dignitaries from across the nation. Brégier and a member of the Airbus, Mobile team placed a ceremonial placard on an airframe component of the first aircraft to be produced in Mobile. The placard reads, “This aircraft proudly made in the U.S.A. by the worldwide team from Airbus.”
With an estimated demand of 4,700 aircraft over the next 20 years, the United States is the largest market in the world, for single-aisle (narrow body) aircraft. Airbus first announced the $600 million facility in 2012, and construction began at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley in 2013. By 2018, the USMF (US manufacturing facility) is expected to produce between 40 and 50 single-aisle aircraft per year.
Keeping with the order pattern, the first aircraft to be assembled is MSN6512 an A321-231 destined for JetBlue. Delivery is expected next spring. The production sequence is expected to be:
- MSN 6512 JetBlue
- MSN 6621 American Airlines
- MSN 6866 American Airlines
- MSN 6909 American Airlines
- MSN 6956 American Airlines
- MSN 6973 JetBlue
- MSN 7013 American Airlines