Airbus Investment in Mobile Surpasses $1 Billion

The 275 aerospace jobs in Alabama will result from a production rate increase.

Airbus A321neo
Artist’s rendering of an Airbus A321neo (new engine option) with CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines.Airbus

As part of a plan to produce 63 A320 family aircraft per month in 2021, Airbus announced that the company will expand its footprint in the U.S. by increasing the production rate of aircraft at its Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, to seven per month by the beginning of next year. This increase, and continued recruiting for the A220 manufacturing team, will result in a further 275 jobs added at the Alabama-based facility over the next year.

The announcement adds to huge growth for Airbus in 2019, when the company added 600 new jobs at the Alabama manufacturing site. The company’s $40 million investment is for an additional support hangar on the site, bringing its total investment to more than $1 billion in the Gulf Coast city.

“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,” said Airbus Americas Chairman and CEO C. Jeffrey Knittel. “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 neighbors. 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.”

Airbus A321neo
The final assembly line at the Airbus manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.Airbus

The Airbus operations in Mobile are part of an extensive Airbus presence in the U.S., where approximately 4,000 people are employed at 38 locations in 16 states. In addition to the Mobile manufacturing facility, Airbus has an engineering center in Kansas, training facilities in Florida and Colorado, materials support and headquarters in Virginia, a “think tank” in California, a drone data-analysis business in Georgia, helicopter manufacturing and assembly facilities in Texas and Mississippi, and a satellite manufacturing facility in Florida. Collectively, the company has spent nearly $50 billion in the U.S. in the last three years with more than 450 U.S. suppliers, supporting more than 275,000 American jobs.

The partnership between Airbus and the Gulf Coast community began 15 years ago this year when Airbus Defense & Space was established in 2005 in Mobile to support operators of the C212 and CN235 tactical transports with maintenance, repair and overhaul services and technical support. Airbus opened an engineering center in Mobile in 2007, a facility that is now home to 220 engineers and support staff. The center’s initial focus on cabin engineering and A350 XWB design work has expanded to include design, engineering, and support of nearly all of Airbus’ commercial aircraft products.

In 2015, Mobile became home to Airbus’ first U.S.-based commercial aircraft manufacturing facility. Now in its fifth year of production, the facility has grown from an initial workforce of around 250 producing A320 family aircraft to more than 1,000 building A220 and A320 family aircraft by the end of 2019. By the end of 2020, that number will be around 1,300.

In addition to the rate increase and new team members, Airbus will also welcome the graduation of the first students from the FlightPath9 high school student training program in May 2020, participate in the opening of the Flight Works Alabama aviation experience center in June, and deliver its 200th U.S.-built A320 family aircraft in the summer.