The Airbus team at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Alabama hit an important milestone last week as the first aircraft ever assembled at the site, an A321ceo destined for JetBlue, has rolled out and it is ready to receive its paint job prior to delivery.
According to Airbus, this aircraft (MSN 6512) is on track for its first flight early in the 2nd quarter, followed by delivery “in early Spring.” This will be followed in turn by other six A321ceos, all of them to be delivered to American Airlines. Per Airbus, the FAL will be dedicated to the production of the A321 variant “for the foreseeable future.” These seven aircraft are in various phases of assembly at the site, and the airframer expects to reach a rate of four aircraft per month by the end of 2017.
Last October, Airbus announced plans to ramp up the production of the A320 family aircraft before the end of the decade, in a move supported by record numbers of firm orders amid a strong global demand for the type. Airbus expects to increase the rate to 52 planes per month by 2018, supported by its final production lines in Germany, France, China, and the United States.