Airbus has cut the ribbon on its new manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.
The Mobile plant is scheduled to produce between 40 and 50 Airbus A320 family aircraft by 2018. Airbus says the first completed aircraft to emerge from the factory will be an A321 due to be delivered to US carrier Jetblue in 2016.
Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Bregier noted the US was the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world and the manufacturing facility in Mobile would enable Airbus to grow its presence in the US and be closer to its US customers and suppliers.
“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,” Bregier said in a statement on Tuesday (US time).
“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.
“With the addition of our US facility to our production network in Europe and Asia, we have strategically expanded our worldwide industrial base.”
Airbus said Mobile would produce between 40 and 50 A320 family aircraft a year by 2018.
The A320 family manufacturing plant joins Airbus’s other defence, engineering and helicopter facilities and training centres located in various sites across the United States.