International officials at one of the world’s biggest air shows no longer look at Councilman C.J. Small with a puzzled expression when he tells them he’s from Mobile, Alabama, and that’s at least partially thanks to Airbus, he said.
“They’ve put Mobile on the map,” Small said of Airbus. “Now, people at the Paris Air Show know Mobile.”
The company had more good news for Small’s third district, as it announced on Monday, Aug. 5 that production had begun producing the smaller A220 aircraft at the Brookley Aeroplex.
“It means more jobs and more opportunities,” Small said.
Airbus announced plans for the addition of A220 manufacturing in Mobile in October 2017, and construction on the main A220 flowline hangar and other support buildings for the new A220 began at the Brookley Aeroplex at the beginning of 2019.
Airbus 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 the third quarter of 2020. By the middle of next decade, the facility will produce between 40 and 50 A220 aircraft per year, a company statement read.
“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,” Airbus Americas Chairman & CEO C. Jeffrey Knittel said in a statement. “With Mobile, and our production network in Asia, Canada and Europe, we have strategically created a worldwide industrial base to better serve our customers.”
With an order book of 551 aircraft as of the end of June 2019, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100-to-150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, the statement read. Airbus has strong and longstanding ties to the United States, with Airbus aircraft being operated by the largest airlines in America. Additionally, Airbus is a major partner of U.S. aerospace companies and workers. The company has purchased $48 billion of components and materials from American suppliers in the last three years alone, and supports more than 275,000 American jobs.
Among its facilities in the U.S. Airbus has: engineering centers in Kansas and Alabama; training facilities in Florida and Colorado; materials support and headquarters in Virginia; an innovative think tank in California; a drone data analysis business in Atlanta; helicopter manufacturing and assembly facilities in Texas and Mississippi; and a satellite manufacturing facility in Florida, the statement read.
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