Airbus inaugurated its new final assembly line in Toulouse on Monday (FAL) for the reengined single aisles of the A320 family, its second in France and the tenth in the world capable of producing the A321 – including the currently most sought-after neo version.
During a ceremony in Toulouse on July 10 at its Toulouse facilities attended by hundreds of employees, the European aircraft manufacturer inaugurated its second single-aisle FAL. Installed in the former A380 “Jean-Luc Lagardère” assembly building, the new FAL began operations at the end of 2022 with the arrival of the first fuselage sections. The first aircraft fully assembled at this facility – an A321 – is expected to leave the factory by the end of the year. This assembly line will gradually ramp up by 2025, employing about 700 people.
Airbus emphasizes that this new FAL “benefits from numerous innovations aimed at maximizing product quality and efficiency, as well as establishing new standards in terms of health, safety and sustainable development. These innovations include digital production control using tablets and smartphones to reduce paper consumption, automated logistics for parts distribution, and the use of lightweight robots for assembly of fuselage sections.”
Guillaume Faury, Executive Chairman of Airbus, said in a statement: We are pleased to see this new facility join our global network of assembly sites, which will include four FALs at Hamburg (Germany), two to Toulouse (France), two to Mobile (United States) and two to Tianjin (China), all capable of producing the A321 “. The first A321neo assembled in China was delivered last March.
The inauguration in Toulouse of this new final assembly line capable of producing the A321 “is a further milestone in the modernization of our global industrial system. It will help increase our production to reach a monthly rate of 75 A320 Family aircraft per month in 2026while meeting increased demand for the A321, which currently accounts for approximately 60% of the total A320 Family order book “, he added.
Recall that the last Airbus A380 had left the Lagardère factory in March 2021, the superjumbo no longer being popular with operators (the health crisis had seen, for example, Air France anticipate their exit from the fleet).