Airbus has decided to create new A321 production capabilities at its site in Toulouse.
By mid-2022, the current A380 Lagardère facility in Toulouse will accommodate a digitally enabled A321 line as a step to modernise the A320 production system in Toulouse. The new facilities will provide more flexibility for A321 production while keeping the overall single-aisle industrial capacity in Toulouse flat.
“We are enjoying an unprecedented high demand for our winning A320neo family and especially its A321 Long Range (LR) and Xtra Long Range (XLR) derivatives,” said Airbus chief operating officer Michael Schoellhorn.
“In order to optimise the industrial flow, we have decided to increase our global A321 production capacity and flexibility as well as to establish a next-generation final assembly line in Toulouse.”
Currently, the only European final assembly line to assemble A321s is at Airbus’ Hamburg site. In addition, the A321 is also being assembled and delivered from Mobile, Alabama, USA.
Toulouse was selected for several reasons such as overall competitiveness, time to market, investment cost, available floor space and resources. The decision has been communicated to Airbus’ social partners.
The A320neo family has solver over 7,100 aircraft to more than 110 operators. Within this family, the A321XLR is the latest evolutionary step which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines.
From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm and a 30 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft.
Airbus said for passengers, the A321XLR’s new ‘Airspace’ cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on a long-haul wide-body, with the low costs of a single-aisle aircraft.
The move follows a strategy to keep its overall production system at the leading edge of technology and to increase industrial capacity and flexibility.