Airbus begins U.S. production of A220
Airbus on August 5 officially began manufacturing the A220 in the United States at its production facility in Mobile, Alabama. The company’s Alabama-based workers received on-the-job training in Mirabel, Quebec, where the A220 program and primary final assembly line are located.
“The expansion of our commercial aircraft production in Mobile to a second product line – with 400 additional jobs to support it – further solidifies Airbus’ standing as a truly global aircraft manufacturer, and confirms without a doubt that Airbus is an important part of America’s manufacturing landscape,” said Jeffrey Knittel, chairman and CEO, Airbus Americas. “With Mobile, and our production network in Asia, Canada and Europe, we have strategically created a worldwide industrial base to better serve our customers.”
Airbus announced plans for the addition of A220 manufacturing in Mobile back in October 2017. Construction on the main A220 flowline hangar and other support buildings for the new A220 began at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley at the beginning of this year. Airbus explains it is producing the first few aircraft within some current A320 family buildings and newly built support hangars.
The first U.S.-made A220 – an A220-300 destined for Delta Air Lines – is scheduled for delivery in Q3 2020. Airbus expects, that by the middle of next decade, the Mobile facility will produce between 40 and 50 A220 aircraft per year.
Airbus states the A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market, leveraging Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer what Airbus describes as at least 20 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. There was an order book for 551 A220 aircraft as of end of June 2019.