Airbus A320 family aircraft production in the U.S. is on schedule to begin this summer as the large aircraft components for the first U.S.-produced aircraft today depart from the port in Hamburg, Germany, bound for Mobile, according to a press release. The major component assemblies (MCAs) consist of the wings produced in the UK, the rear fuselage section produced in Germany including the tail cone (produced in Spain), and the forward fuselage section, including the cockpit produced in France, all of which contain parts from all over the world. The horizontal (from Spain) and vertical (from Germany) stabilizers are also on board. The first aircraft is an A321ceo destined for delivery to JetBlue in 2016.
Airbus established the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile to assemble and deliver A319, A320 and A321 aircraft to meet the growing needs of its customers in the United States and elsewhere. It is the company’s first U.S.-based production facility, and the fourth in the network which includes Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China.
“This is a day of celebration as we reach another important milestone in aircraft production in the U.S.,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “North America is one of the largest single-aisle aircraft markets in the world. This manufacturing facility brings us closer to our customers, and strengthens the aerospace industry in the U.S., Europe and around the world. Production will begin in just a few weeks, with first delivery scheduled for 2016.”
Approximately 200 employees, including some from Mobile who are training in Hamburg, celebrated this first shipment in a ceremony held today to launch the cargo ship, in the presence of the U.S. Consul General in Hamburg, Nancy Corbett. Traditional songs from all four European Airbus nations and the U.S. were played as the ship, bearing German and U.S. flags, and flags of the city state of Hamburg and the state of Alabama, sailed off.
The sea voyage will take approximately 20 days, and can be tracked on Airbus in the U.S. Facebook and Twitter pages, or on www.vesselfinder.com (ship name BBC Atlantic).