In a major strategic announcement today, Airbus said it will establish a manufacturing facility in the United States to assemble and deliver A320 Family aircraft. Located at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama, it will be the company’s first US-based production facility. Airbus stressed that the assembly line, which will create jobs and strengthen the aerospace industry, is part of its strategy to enhance the company's global competitiveness by meeting the growing needs of its customers in the United States and elsewhere.
The facility in Alabama will assemble the A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. The company said construction of the assembly line will begin in summer 2013. Aircraft assembly is planned to start in 2015, with first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016. It is anticipated that the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.
Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Brégier said: “The time is right for Airbus to expand in America. The USA is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world – with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years - and this assembly line brings us closer to our customers. Mobile is now becoming part of Airbus’ global production network, joining our successful and growing assembly lines in Hamburg, Toulouse and Tianjin.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said: “When Airbus aircraft take to the skies, our pride and workmanship will soar along with them. This project will create 1000 stable, well-paying jobs that the people of this area need and deserve. Alabama has the best workforce you’ll find anywhere in the U.S. Airbus has recognized all that this state can offer expanding industries, and the company is making a significant new investment in Alabama. Airbus and its parent company, EADS, have been great citizens of Alabama for years now, and we are excited to build on our wonderful relationship.”
Airbus already has a strong and growing presence in Alabama and throughout the USA, currently employing more than 1,000 workers.