Fly Alabama, Fly: Airbus ramping up A320 production, adding more jobs in Mobile
Airbus on Thursday announced that the aerospace company will again increase production rates in Mobile, resulting in 275 new jobs in South Alabama.
The company plans to begin hiring the additional workers this year in order to reach a production rate of seven A320 family aircraft per month by the beginning of 2021.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Governor Kay Ivey lauded the announcement in respective statements.
“Supporting economic investment and job growth remains one of my highest priorities. I applaud Airbus for increasing the production rate and adding more good-paying jobs in Mobile,” Shelby said.
“This expansion highlights Airbus’ continued commitment to Alabama. I am proud they are building advanced, state-of-the-art aircraft in our state and honored for this world-renowned company to call Mobile home,” he added.
In 2015, Airbus opened its A320 U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. This $600 million, 53-acre facility delivered its first aircraft – an A321 jetliner for JetBlue – in April 2016.
Construction began on a second final assembly line – this one for the A220 family of aircrafts – in January 2019. Now, Airbus’ South Alabama production facility has more than 1,000 employees. By the end of 2020, the number of employees will increase to approximately 1,300.
“Airbus is proud to call Alabama home and we’re thrilled to announce a production rate increase for our best-selling A320 aircraft,” stated C. Jeffrey Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas. “The support we receive from Senator Shelby and our other supporters in Alabama made growing the Mobile operation an easy and obvious decision for Airbus.”
As of December 31, Airbus had successfully delivered 160 A320 family aircraft from Mobile to eight U.S.-based airline customers. The company expects to deliver its first A220 aircraft from Mobile later this year.
The Airbus A320 series is considered a competitor to Boeing’s 737 series.
“Airbus’ ever-expanding footprint in Mobile has become the core of a rapidly growing aerospace cluster throughout the Gulf Coast. Moreover, the company’s plans to increase aircraft production in Alabama, yet once again, means new investment and new jobs,” Ivey remarked.
“Today’s news of the Airbus expansion is a big vote of confidence in the quality and caliber of the Alabama workforce,” she concluded. “Today’s announcement will also better position Mobile to remain on track to becoming one of the top four cities in the world for aerospace manufacturing. I look forward to seeing Airbus reach future milestones at its U.S. manufacturing home in Sweet Home Alabama.”
Read more about Airbus’ latest expansion here.
UPDATE 10:40 a.m.
In a statement, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) said, “Today’s announcement that Airbus will be expanding its Southwest Alabama footprint is exciting news and a further testament to the workers and pro-jobs culture of our community. This investment is yet another demonstration of Airbus’ long-term commitment to our region and our workforce.”
“The Trump Administration’s initial decision to exempt parts and components used at Airbus Mobile from tariffs is driving huge demand for our American made Airbus planes. I look forward to continuing advocating for the men and women who work at Airbus Mobile and thank President Trump and his administration for their eagerness to work with me and other leaders to benefit Alabama workers,” he added.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn