In what will become an increasingly familiar occasion, Airbus has delivered another “made in America” A320 Family jetliner from its final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama – marking the second such handover from the facility, and underscoring the company’s continuing focus on internationalisation.
The aircraft – an A321ceo (current engine option) – was delivered today to U.S.-based carrier American Airlines, which already operates the world’s largest fleet of Airbus aircraft. It follows handover of the no. 1 aircraft produced in Mobile – also an A321ceo – to JetBlue on 25 April.
This second delivery in less than one month underscores how the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has quickly become a significant part of the company’s worldwide production network since commencing final assembly operations in summer 2015 – joining other modern final assembly lines in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China. With this arrangement, A320 Family aircraft are produced around the clock on three continents.
The four-member A320 Family – which includes CEO and NEO (new engine option) variants – is the world’s best-selling single-aisle product line, with over 12,400 orders and 7,000-plus deliveries to date. Airbus has steadily increased its production rate to meet market demand, gradually moving toward the highest monthly production rate ever in civil aviation – increasing from 42 monthly in February 2014 to 60 in mid-2019.
The Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility will deliver four A320 Family jetliners per month by the end of 2017. Around the same time, this final assembly line is scheduled to transition from producing CEO aircraft to building NEO versions.
2016 weren’t easy for airlines around the globe that continue to struggle with ways of finding pilots to fill cockpit seats. 2017 is expected to be an even more pressing year, as Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturers keep accelerating their production, while the already small pool of qualified FOs and PICs grows at a significantly slower pace....
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