By Juliet Van Wagenen | September 15, 2015
|Airbus has inaugurated a new manufacturing facility in Mobile, Ala. Photo: Airbus|
[Avionics Today 09-15-2015] Airbus has launched its first U.S. facility in Mobile, Ala. The plant, which assembles the A319s, A320s and A321s, is officially open for business, with more than 250 Airbus manufacturing employees now at work on the first U.S.-made Airbus aircraft.
“With the addition of our U.S. facility to our production network in Europe and Asia, we have expanded our worldwide industrial base,” said Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier. “[The new facility] enables us to grow our already significant presence in America — the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world — and to be closer to our U.S. customers and key supplier partners. At the same time, the expanded industrial capacity gives us more flexibility to increase production across Airbus to meet global demand.”
Airbus announced plans for the $600 million U.S. facility in 2012, and began construction at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley the following year. Airbus has scheduled the first U.S.-made Airbus commercial aircraft, an A321, for delivery next spring. By 2018, the facility will produce between 40 and 50 single-aisle aircraft per year, according to the manufacturer. Airbus’ market forecast indicates a demand over the next 20 years, from all manufacturers, for some 4,700 single-aisle aircraft in North America alone.