Saturday, 11 January 2020

Airbus expanding operations in the US

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced an increase in its operations in the US this week. 

The firm will 63 A320 family aircraft per month in the US next year and will seek to expand its industrial footprint in the US. by increasing the production rate of A320 family aircraft to 7 a month, beginning of next year. This increase along with more development of the A220 programme meas the company is hiring 275 more people at the Mobile, Alabama base during the next year.

This latest announcement comes on top of huge growth in 2019, when the company added 600 new jobs at the site with plans to make four A220 aircraft per month there by the middle of the decade.  So far, the firm is on track to produce more than 130 aircraft in Mobile each year for its US-based airline customers.

Reflecting on the growth and continued investment in the U.S., Airbus Americas Chairman and CEO C. Jeffrey Knittel said, “Airbus has been manufacturing in the U.S. for many years now through our helicopter, aircraft and satellite products. This increase in commercial aircraft production in Mobile is an exciting expansion of our significant industrial investment in the U.S., and it continues Airbus’ positive contribution to American aerospace.”

Knittel continued, “We have invested more than $1 billion in Mobile because of the terrific team of employees there – and because of the support and welcome we continue to receive from the Gulf Coast community and State and Congressional leaders like Senator Richard Shelby, who has been with us from the beginning. We look forward to building on that strong relationship with our neighbours. This goes beyond jobs to include our support of education initiatives and future workforce development that will positively impact the community for decades to come along the Gulf Coast.”

In addition to its operations in Mobile, Airbus has extensive presence throughout the U.S. The company employs approximately 4,000 people at 38 locations in 16 states. Among its other facilities in the U.S. Airbus has: an engineering centre in Kansas; training facilities in Florida and Colorado; materials support and headquarters in Virginia; an innovative think tank (A3) in California; a drone data analysis business in Georgia; helicopter manufacturing and assembly facilities in Texas and Mississippi; and a satellite manufacturing facility (OneWeb Satellites) in Florida. Furthermore, in the last three years alone, Airbus has spent nearly $50 billion in the U.S. with more than 450 U.S. suppliers, supporting more than 275,000 American jobs.

In addition to the rate increase and new team members, Airbus will have a lot more to celebrate in Mobile in 2020: Defense and Space will celebrate its 15th anniversary in April; Airbus’ newest final assembly line for the A220 will open, and the delivery of the first U.S.-made A220 will take place. The company will also welcome the graduation of the first students from the FlightPath9 high school student training program in May, participate in the opening of the Flight Works Alabama aviation experience centre in June, and deliver its 200th U.S.-built A320 family aircraft in the summer.

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