Airbus to replace A380 Final Assembly Line at Toulouse with A320 Family FAL by 2022

Airbus, confident of the demand for their narrow body jets, will put a new A320/A321 final assembly line in Toulouse in the space that was initially occupied by the A380 assembly line till so far.

The modernised, digitally-enabled A320/A321 final assembly line (FAL) will replace one of the original Toulouse A320 FALs. It will be installed in the former A380 Lagardère facility and expected to be operational by the end of 2022. Initial plans to introduce A321 production capabilities in Toulouse, announced in January 2020, were put on hold at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, following the decision to reduce commercial aircraft production by around 40%.

aerial view of a large building

Current A320 Toulouse Final Assembly Line (Courtesy: Airbus)

With a market recovery in sight and a potential return to pre-COVID production rates for single-aisle aircraft between 2023 and 2025, Airbus has resumed its activities for the project. Currently, Airbus produces 40 aircraft per month of the A320 family. Production will rise to 45 per month by the close of 2021 and 53 by 2022. Back in the day, in 2020, Airbus used to assemble 60 A320 family airframes per month.

Hamburg and Mobile (Alabama) are currently the only Airbus production sites configured to assemble A321s. The modernised A320 Family FAL in Toulouse will help improve the working conditions, overall industrial flow, and quality and competitiveness by adding a new-generation assembly line to the Airbus single-aisle production system.

a group of people working on an airplane

A320 aircraft on the A320 FAL (Courtesy: Airbus)

However, the A321XLR, which is due to be rolled out in 2023, will get the unique distinction of only being assembled in Hamburg at the moment. This might be a bearing of the fact that the XLR’s extra centre fuel tank is going to be manufactured in Germany as well.

Whichever way you look at it, this is great news for Airbus and the aviation world, as this signals the return of the uptrend in aircraft manufacturing over a period of time. 

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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