Posted on: 14 September 2015 by Mark Howells
tAirbus has inaugurated operations at its first US manufacturing facility based in Mobile, Alabama.
tThe plant employs more than 250 manufacturers to assemble the OEM’s family of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.ttAirbus announced plans for the $600 million facility in 2012 and construction began at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley the following year. The first US-made Airbus commercial aircraft – an A321 – is scheduled for delivery next spring. ttBy 2018, Airbus predicts the facility will produce between 40 and 50 single-aisle aircraft per year. The OEM’s market forecast indicates a demand over the next 20 years (from all manufacturers) for some 4,700 single-aisle aircraft in North America alone.tt“Our commercial aircraft production in Mobile signifies two things: that Airbus has become the first truly global aircraft manufacturer, and that Airbus is now also a truly American manufacturer,” remarked Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ president and CEO. “With the addition of our US facility to our production network in Europe and Asia, we have strategically expanded our worldwide industrial base.tt“The Airbus US manufacturing facility is an important step forward in Airbus’ strategy, strengthening our position as a leader and competitor in all of our key markets. It 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 US 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. The US facility is good news for the overall Airbus enterprise, as this greater production capacity creates global growth opportunities across the company and throughout our supply chain,” Brégier continued. ttFabrice Brégier and members of the new Airbus workforce in Mobile were joined at the inaugural ceremony by Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Jeff Sessions and Congressman Bradley Byrne amongst other dignitaries, airline and aerospace executives and local leaders. The event convened under the theme, ‘Let’s Get to Work – Together!’ and culminated in the ceremonial placement of a placard on a component of the first aircraft to be produced in Mobile, reading, ‘This aircraft proudly made in the U.S.A. by the worldwide team from Airbus.’ttThe Airbus US manufacturing facility joins several other Airbus and Airbus Group operations across the US, including engineering offices in Alabama (Mobile) and Kansas (Wichita); an Airbus training centre in Florida (Miami); and aircraft spares facilities in Georgia (Atlanta), Florida (Miami) and Virginia (Ashburn). Airbus’ Latin American headquarters are located in Miami. ttAirbus and Airbus Group are also major customers of other US aerospace companies, having purchased $16.5 billion of components and materials from American suppliers last year alone.ttIn addition to the new Alabama manufacturing site, Airbus continues to assemble commercial aircraft at facilities in Hamburg (Germany), Tianjin (China) and Toulouse (France).