As planned by Airbus two years ago, the Mobile plant in the state of Alabama began manufacturing the A220, the company’s smallest jet.
The production of the aircraft in the U.S. is part of the European manufacturer’s plans to reduce the country’s restrictions on its products. The Mobile plant has been assembling the A320 family for some years, in addition to the other Airbus assembly lines.
The A220, however, is a Canadian commercial jet created by Bombardier that passed it on to Airbus last year. The aircraft has been getting good sales contracts in recent months, but it has prompted protests from Boeing that it considered the A220 subsidized by the Canadian government.
For this reason, Delta Air Lines’ purchase of the jet was eventually disputed in US court, with Bombardier pleading.
To avoid accusations of causing unemployment in the US, Airbus has expanded its Alabama unit to demonstrate that its planes also contribute to the country. Just to produce the A220, the planemaker claims to have hired 400 employees.
Despite expanding the production capacity of the A220, Mobile will have a small share of total deliveries for now. The facility is expected to build 40 to 50 planes a year.
The first A220 to be finalized on site will be delivered to Delta Air Lines in Q3 2020.