In 2021, we reported that Airbus would use the space that was left vacant due to the closure of the A380 Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France, with another assembly line for the Airbus A320neo Family aircraft. The new FAL is largely to satisfy the demand for A321neo aircraft. Now, the new assembly line has been inaugurated.
Airbus inaugurates a new A320 family FAL at Toulouse.
Airbus has inaugurated its new A320 Family final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse during a ceremony attended by French Minister of Economy & Finance Bruno Le Maire, French Transport Minister Clément Beaune, Minister of State for Industry Roland Lescure, and Minister of State for Territorial Collectivities and Rural Affairs Dominique Faure, as well as hundreds of Airbus employees.
Installed in the former A380 “Jean-Luc Lagardère” assembly building, the new FAL started initial operations at the end of 2022 with the delivery of the first fuselage sections. The roll-out of the first aircraft fully assembled in this facility – an A321 – is expected to take place by the end of this year. The industrial site will progressively ramp up operations between now and 2025, directly employing around 700 workers.
On the occasion, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said,
The inauguration of this new A321-capable final assembly line in Toulouse represents another milestone in the ongoing modernisation of our global industrial system. This FAL will contribute to the ongoing production rate ramp-up to 75 A320 Family aircraft per month in 2026, while meeting the increased demand for A321s which currently represents around 60 percent of the total A320 Family backlog
We’re pleased to see this new facility join our worldwide network of final assembly sites which will comprise four FALs in Hamburg, Germany; two in Toulouse, France; two in Mobile, United States; and two in Tianjin, China, all them capable of assembling the A321.
A variety of innovations feature prominently in this latest A320 Family final assembly line, with the aim of maximising product quality and efficiency, as well as establishing new standards for health, safety and sustainability. These innovations include digital production control using tablets and smartphones to reduce paper consumption, automated logistics for parts distribution and lightweight robots for joining sections.
As Airbus sees surging demand for its bestselling A320 and A321 aircraft, it is ramping up production. It recently established a second FAL in Tianjin, China and has started to offer planes to international customers from there (earlier just reserved for Chinese deliveries). Now a new FAL has gone online in Toulouse, which can also assemble the A321, earlier the exclusive domain of the Hamburg site. With all of this, Airbus intends to start working towards 75 aircraft per month in the years ahead.
What do you think of the expansion of Airbus’ capacity?
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