MIAMI — The first Airbus A321 assembled in the United States for ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has been delivered today in Mobile, Alabama.
On hand for the occasion, executives and employees from Airbus and Spirit Airlines gathered at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility.
“Many years ago, Spirit recognized that Airbus was the right partner to provide the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, which allowed them to become a leading Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the U.S.,” said Bob Lekites, Executive Vice President-Customers, Airbus Americas.
The aircraft (N670NK • MSN 7106) is the 15th A321 received by the airline, and it is the 10th A321 assembled by Airbus in the United States.
“Our Fit Fleet is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the industry and we’re thrilled to add our first American-made aircraft to the Spirit family.
“It’s been a successful partnership, and this aircraft — the first to be produced for Spirit in Mobile and the U.S.A — will hold a special place in our memories as we go forward. It’s truly a great milestone,” said Bob Fornaro, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines.
Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and less than one year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015, with the first aircraft, —an A321— delivered last April to JetBlue.
The Mobile Final Assembly Line is dedicated to the production of Airbus narrowbodies for customers in North America. So far, only A321s with the Current Engine Option (CEO), will be assembled in the foreseeable future, as the Final Assembly Line transitions to the New Engine Option (NEO) derivatives in late 2017.
Airbus expects to increase the production rate to 52 aircraft per month by 2018, and to 60 aircraft before 2020, supported by its final production lines in Germany, France, China, and the Alabama assembly line in the United States.