MOBILE, AL—Airbus has begun manufacturing A220 aircraft at its assembly plant here, a key milestone in growth plans that will see the company add a second assembly line and hire more than 400 new workers at the site.
The first team of A220 production workers began work at the Mobile facility following their return from on-the-job training in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, where the A220 program and primary final assembly line are located.
“The expansion of our commercial aircraft production in Mobile to a second product line—with 400 additional jobs to support it—further solidifies Airbus’ standing as a truly global aircraft manufacturer, and confirms without a doubt that Airbus is an important part of America’s manufacturing landscape,” says Airbus Americas chairman and CEO C. Jeffrey Knittel.
Airbus announced plans to add A220 manufacturing at Mobile in October 2017. Construction on the main A220 flow-line hangar and other support buildings for the A220 began at the start of this year. Airbus is producing the first few aircraft within some current A320 family buildings and newly built support hangars. The first U.S.-made A220—an A220-300 destined for Delta Air Lines—is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2020.
By the middle of next decade, the facility will produce 40 to 50 A220 aircraft per year.
“It’s exciting to see the start of production on the A220 in Mobile,” says Paul Gaskell, president of Airbus U.S. A220 Inc. “The production team has been training alongside their colleagues in Mirabel and have returned ready to put their knowledge to work.”
Airbus began producing A320 aircraft at its $600 million Alabama assembly plant in late 2015. To date, the company has delivered more than 130 aircraft to eight different airlines, with Delta claiming the most, with 52 deliveries.
More than 800 people are now working at the Airbus assembly line. The company employs an additional 220 at an engineering center in Mobile and another 70 people at its Space and Defense division in the city, pushing its total employment in Alabama to around 1,100.