In September of 2015, Airbus officially opened their very first US based production facility in Mobile Alabama. Fast forward seven months and the company is on the verge of delivering their first US built A321 passenger jet. Airbus has spent over $600 million erecting the Mobile production facility, and soon they will finally begin to see returns on their massive investment. New York based Jet Blue airlines is set to receive this initial A321 on in a ceremony attended by executives from both companies on April 25th.
The A321 is the largest aircraft in the A320 family and is seen by many as the flagships model of Airbus’ single aisle passenger jet group. When compared to the regular A320, the A321 features a longer fuselage, larger wing area, and a higher fuel capacity. It also has the lowest fuel burn and longest range of any plane in its class. Airbus claims that the A321 has a total range in excess of 4,000 nautical miles.
As with other planes in the A320 family, the A321 also makes very little noise.
Although it took the Mobile Alabama Airbus facility over seven months to produce its first A321, the plant with soon begin delivering A321s in rapid succession. The next A321 will likely be delivered to American Airlines during the latter part of May, and by 2018 Airbus aims to deliver four A321s per month.
Airbus has long been the manufacturer of choice for several US based airlines, but they have never manufactured their aircraft on US soil. Now that Airbus has finally taken the plunge and created a US based production facility, it will be interesting to see how they can continue to develop their brand in America.