Airbus Planning 2 Additional Assembly Lines in North America
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6:00am (11:00 UTC) - January 5, 2020 - by Sylvain Faust for fliegerfaust.com
Interesting is what I heard through the grapevine about Airbus lately. Airbus would currently be planning for 2 additional assembly lines in North America.
To expand its production capacity in regards of additional future orders for its A320 as a well as its larger A350 aircraft models, Airbus needs to build another final assembly line for each of them.
Mobile, Alabama would be the location where "another" A320 production line is to be added. This US Airbus facility is already home of one A320 FAL (final assembly line) and one A220 (aka Bombardier CSeries) FAL. This last one is still in construction and will be inaugurated soon. A220 aircraft production has already started inside the existing A320 FAL with the wing joining done inside another hangar for the time being.
Airbus would be building another A320 FAL in Mobile, making it two for this model. Local officials offered Airbus interesting incentive and the "official" announcement is to come shortly according to what I heard.
Airbus would also be currently evaluating two locations for its upcoming new A350 FAL, one in Canada and one in the United States.
Mirabel in Quebec, where Airbus primary A220 FAL is located is being analyzed against Mobile in Alabama for the new A350 FAL construction.
As I already reported months ago (January 2019), Airbus has taken options on land around Mirabel Airport (YMX) representing 8 times the current land occupied by the existing A220 facility in Mirabel. 8 times is large, so might it be possible that Airbus was also planning on building its Eurofighter/Typhoon for the CF-18 replacement contract as well? (Read my article https://www.fliegerfaust.com/airbus-news-typhoon-a350-2626020934.html)
As we all now know Airbus decided to retract itself from participating in the Canadian Government bid to replace its old CF-18 fighter jets fleet claiming that the bid was rigged by Ottawa to let the single engine Lockeed-Martin F-35 win. Airbus (like Saab) offered to have its fighter jet totally assembled in Canada if it was selected.
That said, taking options of an additional 8 times the current space used by the A220 facility at Mirabel Airport would have been too much for assembling the Typhoon. Could we understand that Airbus was already planning for the additional A350 facility? Read what I wrote on this already
Certainly that would be great news for the Aerospace industry of Canada, the province of Quebec and the area of the city of Montreal. What type of help would the Quebec provincial government and also the Canadian federal government be offering Airbus to have this large investment made in Canada?
Mirabel has an airport with dual 12 000 feet runways dedicated to an industrial use. Mirabel airport, YMX in Quebec, Canada is close to Montréal (15 Nautical Miles from the City of Montreal, i.e. 28 km or 17 miles) with plenty of qualified resources in the aerospace sector (specialized schools) and where Airbus is adding to its existing A220 infrastructure.
I wrote this exactly one year ago in January 2019 (https://www.fliegerfaust.com/airbus-news-typhoon-a350-2626020934.html). Take note that since Bombardier decided to exit its Aerostructures business and selling those assets.
== A note regarding Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services (BAES): You remember when in August 2014 Bombardier announced the appointment of Jean Séguin as President, Bombardier Aerostructures & Engineering Service? You also remember that Bombardier announced that "Jean Séguin retires after a long and successful career with Bombardier" (source https://www.bombardier.com/en/media/newsList/details.bi-20170615-bombardier-appoints-michael-ryan-as-president--aeros.bombardiercom.html). Retiring? Jean Seguin is now the President of Avianor located at Mirabel Airport. Yes, the same Avianor that does A220 interior completion for Airbus (Bombardier) and also obtained A220 maintenance approval from Transport Canada. (source https://www.fliegerfaust.com/airbus-news-a220-2641340857.html) ==
The question is where will Airbus built its next A350 production facility? Mirabel Quebec or Mobile Alabama?
Knowing that Airbus is already planning to add a 2nd A320 FAL in Mobile, added to the upcoming A220 FAL, it might be a lot to ask for the Mobile area to digest so quickly? Could the Trump government tariff targeting Airbus play a role? If Mobile, Alabama community really want that A350 FAL could they convince Airbus to get it now that Ottawa did snub Airbus on its large military contract?
As for Mirabel I know that the Airbus senior management who now have to work closely in Mirabel since the acquisition of half the Bombardier/Quebec Government CSeries program (now renamed A220) did not realize before the potential Mirabel Airport has to offer. They see that Mirabel has huge amount of unoccupied space all around the airport runways, is very close to Montreal, with the surroundings offering a large variety for the workforce to live, forest, lakes, mountains, away from the overcrowded city of Montreal and its traffic jams. I was told that they also realized how easy it is to deal with the union in comparison with their facilities in Europe, is that so?
What will the Prime Minister François Legault Quebec government and the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau do to help convinced Airbus to select Mirabel?
As for Trudeau, it is only the second time in Canadian history that a governing party formed a government while receiving less than 35 per cent of the national popular vote. The Liberals received the lowest percentage of the national popular vote of a governing party in Canadian history.
More about Airbus… and the NEW upcoming A220 model!
But that is for the next article coming very soon…
Sylvain Faust for fliegerfaust.com
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