Airbus has broken ground for a facility in Alambama that will be used to build A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft. The new assembly line will be located at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley in Alabama, alongside the existing A320 production line.
The European manufacturer is investing $300m and will create 400 additional jobs at the plant, which already employs 700 people. Alabama and the City of Mobile are to support the development with $26m of state and municipal incentives. The plant is already constructing 4.5 A320-family aircraft a month with the output rate expected to increase to five/month later this year. Its first A220 will be completed next year and production will run at four a month.
Delta's first A220 was assembled in Montreal. Deliveries from next year will come from Alabama. (Delta News Hub)
Airbus plans to use the facility to assemble A220s destined for US airlines. Delta Air Lines has ordered 90 of the type, while jetBlue has committed to 60 and proposed startup Moxy has added another 60 to the order book.
The decision to produce some A220’s in the United States initially came after Boeing accused Bombardier (which produced the C-Series into its sale to Airbus as the A220) of dumping jets at at below market prices to win a contract with Delta Air Lines. Boeing lost the case it brought, but Airbus continued with plans to build jets bound for the US market in Alabama: "The United States is one of the largest markets for us and this is our largest industrial base in the US We have the skills and employees and it is the logical thing to do," said Jeff Knittel, CEO of Airbus Americas.
Read more about jetBlue and Moxy's orders for A220s: jetBlue, Moxy order A220
Learn more about Moxy and the plans for a new US airline: Look out for Moxy