MIAMI – Airbus is resuming work on a modernized and digital A320 family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse (TLS) to achieve the industrial capability to meet expected market demand once airline industry recovery takes over from the Covid pandemic.
The new facility will take over from the original TLS based A320 FAL and will be installed in the former Lagardere facility where A380 were assembled. Its operation is slated to begin by the end of 2022.
The resumption of works on this facility follows the decision to produce A321 in TLS which was put on hold following the break out of Covid-19 and the related crisis which pushed Airbus to cut down production by 40%.
Seeing a market recovery coming into view, Airbus expects a potential return to pre-Covid operational levels and thus an increase in production of single-aisle aircraft between 2023 and 2025.
At present, production of A321 is assured by Airbus facilities in Hamburg-Finkenwerder in Germany and Mobile in Alabama. By adding a modernized A320 Family FAL in TLS, Airbus will improve working conditions, the industrial flow, along with quality and competitiveness by putting into operation a new-generation FAL for single-aisle production.
The higher level of flexibility in the production of A321 will also support the A321XLR entry into service from Hamburg-Finkenwerder due to start in 2023. The A320 Family is the world’s best seller with over 15,500 aircraft sold to more than 320 customers and is shi=owing a present backlog of 5,650 machines.
Featured image: Airbus 320-100 F-WWAI First A320 ever built. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways