Airbus achieves milestone, to simultaneously produce same aircraft on three continents

With little fanfare, Airbus SE is about to mark an unusual milestone in aviation by simultaneously producing the same aircraft on three continents. The company will hand over the first A320 to roll out of its Mobile, Alabama, U.S., assembly plant on August 25, meaning North America will join Europe and Asia in producing the most popular airliner in the world.

The Alabama facility opened in 2015 and has thus far produced three dozen of Airbus’s larger A321. The first U.S.-built A320 will be handed over Friday to Spirit Airlines Inc., which has ordered 98 of the planes. By year’s end, Airbus plans to reach a production rate of four aircraft per month at the Mobile facility.

“The sun never sets on Airbus manufacturing!” company spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn wrote in an email. “Internationalization, coming closer to our customers, and a global industrial footprint are part of our overall strategy.”

Airbus opened its first assembly plant outside Europe in 2008 in Tianjin, China, where it produces A319s and A320s; European A320 production takes place in Toulouse, France. The European company is also building a completion center in Tianjin for wide-body A330 models.

The single-aisle A320 is the middle model in the Airbus family of jets favored for shorter domestic flights. The classic and new engine option (neo) versions, combined, are the company’s best-selling commercial aircraft, with a total of 8,421 orders, including a backlog of more than 3,800 as of July 31.

Airbus SE is a European multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells civil and military aeronautical products worldwide. In addition to its primary civil aeroplane business, the company has two divisions for other products and services: Defence and Space and Helicopters, the latter being the largest in its industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries.

The company’s main civil aeroplane business is based in Blagnac, France, a suburb of Toulouse, with production and manufacturing facilities mainly in France, Germany, Spain, China, United Kingdom and the United States. Final assembly production is based at Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; Seville, Spain; Tianjin, China, and Mobile, United States. The company produces and markets the first commercially viable digital fly-by-wire airliner, the Airbus A320 and the world’s largest passenger airliner, the A380.


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