Airbus breaks ground at new A220 production facility in Alabama

Airbus has broken ground on a new manufacturing facility in the US that will be used to build A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft for its US customers.

Airbus A220-300

The new assembly line, the company’s second US-based commercial aircraft production facility, will be located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, Alabama adjacent to an existing A320 production line.

Airbus said aircraft production is planned to begin in the third quarter of 2019 with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facilities will be complete by next year.

In the last three years, Airbus spent $48bn in the United States with US suppliers in over 40 states.

The A220, purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market, is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan engines that are said to offer at least 20 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200nm (5,920km), the A220 is part of an aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

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Airbus unveiled the A220 aircraft at its Toulouse delivery centre in July 2018 and used the occasion to announce that JetBlue had placed an order for 60 of the planes with an option for a further 60 from 2025.

The A220 is a result of the partnership agreement signed in October 2017 between Airbus and Bombardier, which saw the former take a majority stake in the latter’s C-Series aircraft business. Bombardier’s CS100 and the CS300 have been assimilated into the Airbus family as the A220-100 and A220-300.