In September of last year, we updated Supply Chain Matters readers on the official opening of the Airbus’s first-ever commercial aircraft manufacturing facility in the United States. The $600 million plant, located near Mobile Alabama is designed to produce various Airbus single-aisle aircraft specifically for the U.S. market.
Airbus announced this week that the first aircraft produced at the U.S. facility flew for the first time on Monday. The brand new A321, destined for JetBlue Airways, took off from the Mobile Aeroplex for a 3 hour and 26 minute checkout flight where tests were conducted on engines, systems and structural performance. According to Airbus, more than 300 employees at the Mobile facility cheered as the aircraft lifted-off.
Following this maiden flight, the aircraft is scheduled for a few more additional weeks of final production before delivery to JetBlue, per the schedule noted last year.
This plant was original announced in 2012, when the state of Alabama offered Airbus a package of what was reported to be $100 million in incentives. Planned production for the new facility includes the A319, A321, and A320 models, as well as the new A320 Neo model. As noted in our September commentary, plans for this U.S. facility call for of a production rate of 40-50 single-aisle aircraft annually, and while that volume level equates to nearly all of Airbus’s monthly production level from all of its global production facilities, it does represent a significant anchor for a U.S. manufacturing presence.
Supply Chain Matters extends our Thumbs-up salute to Airbus U.S. manufacturing and supply chain teams for this noteworthy accomplishment