AIRBUS134 - Progress Photos

MIAMIThe Airbus team at the company’s Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Alabama hit an important milestone in the last week of February, as the first aircraft ever assembled at the site, an A321ceo to be delivered for JetBlue, rolled out of the production line and now has received its paint job prior to its first flight and subsequent delivery.

The aircraft painting was carried out by MAAS Aviation. The company is responsible for painting aircraft in its new facility located on the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, within the Airbus manufacturing facility campus.

According to Airbus, the aircraft (F-WZMA / MSN 6512) is on track for its first flight early in the 2nd quarter, followed by delivery “in early Spring.” This will be followed in turn by other six A321ceos, all of them to be delivered to American Airlines. Per Airbus, the FAL will be dedicated to the production of the A321 variant “for the foreseeable future.” These seven aircraft are in various phases of assembly at the site, and the airframer expects to reach a rate of four aircraft per month by the end of 2017.

Last October, Airbus announced plans to ramp up the production of the A320 family aircraft before the end of the decade, in a move supported by record numbers of firm orders amid a strong global demand for the type. Airbus expects to increase the rate to 52 planes per month by 2018, supported by its final production lines in Germany, France, China, and the United States.