Another Airbus A220 Factory"Again" For Mobile, Alabama? Three Total? Just One In Mirabel, Canada So Far
"This could mean more FAL (final assembly lines) are on the way to Mobile".
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11:26 (15:26 UCT) - September 12, 2019 - by Sylvain Faust for fliegerfaust.com
Again: Another A220 FAL for Mobile, Alabama?
Something that somehow went "under the radar" about Airbus Canada in Mirabel, Quebec is the visit of Mobile, Alabama city and state officials last week.
Why would this matter? Well, here is what council member C.J. Small (District 3 of Mobile City Council) said: "This could mean more FAL (final assembly lines) are on the way to Mobile".
This Mirabel tour by a Mobile delegation was organized by Airbus. Also present and invited by Airbus Mirabel facility to share the occasion, along with other state representatives, was a delegation from Baldwin County.
Baldwin country is located just across the bay from the present Airbus facility in Mobile (see map below)
Location of Airbus A320 & A220 Final Assembly Lines
Is Airbus currently paving the way for yet more incentives to build a third FAL in Mobile dedicated to the assembly of the A220 aircraft far away from Mirabel?
As I previously wrote a while ago, Airbus planned to expand around Mirabel airport by taking an option on a vast quantity of land (read: AIRBUS: 800% Bigger Installations at Mirabel Airport in Quebec - Taking Options For More Land).
At the time, you will recall, Airbus was offering its Eurofighter dual-engine Typhoon to the Canadian government as a replacement of old CF-18 fighter jets. Since then, one must say, things have changed quite a lot.
Also last week, after previously complaining to the Canadian federal government about the manipulation of the selection process to allow the F-35 aircraft an easy win over competition, Airbus Defence officially slapped Ottawa in the face when it bluntly decided not to waste any more time or effort/money to participate in this gross masquerade.
Airbus had proposed, if selected, to have the Typhoon jet completely assembled in Canada, implying a bold impact to the Canadian economy and its aerospace industry leader status. Mirabel would certainly have been the perfect spot on the map for this worthwhile endeavour, offering two 12,000 ft runways and vast expanses of land to build up any required facility.
The Mirabel airport is located 35 km (22 miles) north-west of Montreal, at an ideal location, --with its busy cargo facility, currently thriving aerospace industry, and its power of attraction for would-be employees wishing to escape the aggravations of congested Montreal.
Airbus acquired just over 50% of the A220 aircraft program co-owned Bombardier and the Government of Quebec for the amount of $0 (This is not a typo!) tied with US$1 billion in further expenditures assumed by Bombardier. In exchange, Bombardier received options in the company owning the A220 (Airbus+Bombardier+Quebec Government) while the government of Quebec share in ownership diminished further. The A220 was the new name given by Airbus to the Bombardier CSeries aircraft.
In return, the first action Airbus confirmed was the creation of new A220 jobs in Mobile, Alabama with the decision to build a totally new assembly facility (FAL) to tag along Airbus current investment in Mobile. Incentives were received including cash, tax abatements, fee waivers, speedy processing of permit applications, waiving all administrative, licensing and permitting fees or charges, etc. (ref1)
In Mobile, Airbus must now show proof that it is meeting its employment target of 432 new A220 related jobs by June 30, 2021 else its incentive will have to be reimbursed; prorated accordingly.
Combine this with Airbus needing to create a specific number of new jobs related to the A220 in Mobile, Alabama (not in Mirabel, Quebec), along with Ottawa current heavily pro F-35 bias selection process excluding Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon ($20 billion value), what else could we expect Airbus to do in Canada?
Yet, Airbus couldn't have imagined a better timing for its resounding display of discontent, passing along the subtle message it would certainly be at ease re-opening the discussion with a less stubborn and more "business minded" state, i.e. a federal cabinet of a brand new flavor, since the federal election campaign was launched this Wednesday in Canada. Could this help? Fingers crossed.
- AIRBUS: 800% Bigger Installations at Mirabel Airport in Quebec ... ›
- Airbus Investing - Increasing A220 Production - Thank You Airbus ... ›