DALLAS – Things will be getting busier in Mobile, Alabama. Airbus is looking to start an aggressive growth plan at its assembly facility there.
According to a report on al.com, the plane manufacturer has said that it will add a third assembly line at its Brookley Aeroplex on the shore of Mobile Bay. It currently assembles A320s and A220s at the facility. The third line would provide additional capacity for A320s.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury told US News & World Report that a second A320 assembly line was in the plans for Mobile. The company on Wednesday said that “Mobile will play a key role in Airbus’ plans to significantly increase global production rates in coming years.”
An official “economic investment and workforce announcement” is scheduled for Monday in Mobile.
Airbus is also competing for an Air Force tanker contract and, if won, would assemble those jets in Mobile as well.
Ramp up Production
In its quarterly earnings report yesterday, Airbus noted that it was staying with and even accelerating A320 production that was slowed by the pandemic. It hopes to produce 65 A320s per month by mid-2023, and it is working with suppliers to ramp that up to 75 per month by 2025.
These numbers stand in stark contrast to the production of Boeing 737s which remains at just over 30 planes per month.
“Airbus will meet the higher production rates by increasing capacity at its existing industrial sites and growing the industrial footprint in Mobile, AL while investing to ensure that all commercial aircraft assembly sites are A321-capable,” said the earnings report.
Richard Aboulafia, an analyst for the consultant AeroDynamic Advisory, said, “The market for single-aisle jets is extremely strong, and the A321neo is doing particularly well.” Airbus’ objective is to gain 70% of that market, leaving only 30% for Boeing, “And they just might get there.”
Featured image: A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines. Photo: Airbus