In a first, Airbus has delivered an A320neo manufactured at its Mobile facility to JetSMART, a South American ultra low cost carrier.
“Airbus’ manufacturing center in Mobile continues to achieve impressive new milestones, and it’s exciting to see JetSMART take delivery of a ‘Made in Alabama’ passenger jet that’s bound for South American skies,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “This moment is a powerful reminder that Alabama workers turn out world-class products in demand all over the world.”
Jet SMART, with operations in Argentina, Chile, and Peru, is the first airline based in South America to own an aircraft produced at the Mobile facility.
“We proudly welcome our 26th aircraft, the Guacamayo, the first JetSMART A320neo produced at the Airbus U.S. manufacturing site in Alabama, which will operate in South America,” said Estuardo Ortiz, CEO of JetSMART Airlines. “This milestone brings us one step closer to our goal of reaching 100 aircraft by 2028 with the most fuel-efficient fleet in the region.”
Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield made sure to emphasize the large role employees at the facility played in the process to produce and deliver the aircraft.
“With this international delivery, we can celebrate another special occasion for Airbus and its talented Alabama workforce,” said Canfield. “Since Airbus broke ground on its aircraft production facility in Mobile in 2013, its Alabama operation has been in constant growth mode, making memorable days like today not only possible but frequent.”
When it opened, the Mobile plant employed 250 people to produce the A320 Family aircraft. Today, there are more than 1,600 employees building A320 and A220 Family aircraft. The plant has delivered more than 400 aircraft to 14 customers globally.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.