To ask if we're excited about having Airbus in Mobile, Alabama is like asking if we're happy to be alive - you bet we are!
The Airbus U.S. Final Assembly Line at the Brookley Aeroplex – the European company’s first production plant in America - was initially announced in July 2012, broke ground in April 2013, and was inaugurated on September 14th, 2015. The $600 million production facility will be primarily used as the final assembly destination for the Airbus A321, the company's largest single-aisle jet.
Airbus, based in France, started out as a consortium of aerospace manufacturers. Producing primarily civil aircraft, such as the world's largest passenger airliner, the A380, Airbus employs more than 63,000 people around the world but primarily in France, Germany, Spain, the UK, and now the US, with subsidiaries in Japan, China, and India.
Airbus already had two other facilities in Mobile: the Airbus Engineering Center opened here in 2007 and the Airbus Military Service Center in 2005, so it wasn't that big of a surprise to have more Airbus in Mobile - but it was no given, either! Making it happen was a long, arduous process - but it paid off and should continue doing so for both Airbus and Alabama for many years to come.
The new $600-million, 53-acre, Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has ambitious goals, with a proposed initial production rate of two A320's per month expanding to four by the end of 2017, with an eye on eight per month from the single-line plant by 2018. That's an eventual goal of 40 to 50 aircraft a year!