A rejuvenated assembly line at Airbus’ Toulouse plant in southern France was opened by France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire this week.
The Jean-Luc Lagardere site will now manufacture the A321neo plane, off the back of record contract agreements for the single-aisle aircraft.
The plant is the 10th Airbus facility to make the A320 family, with plants across Europe and as far afield as China.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said: “This final assembly line (FAL) will contribute to the ongoing production rate ramp-up to 75 A320 family aircraft per month in 2026 while meeting the increased demand for A321s which currently represents around 60% of the total A320 family backlog.
“We’re pleased to see this new facility join our worldwide network of final assembly sites, which will comprise four FALs in Hamburg, Germany; two in Toulouse, France; two in Mobile, United States and two in Tianjin, China, all of them capable of assembling the A321.”
The European plane maker said the new line will create at least 700 jobs by 2026 when it should reach its target operational output. The company hopes to produce 75 A320-family craft each month across the 10 sites.
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The 700 staff will work in the world’s second-largest building by usable space and will be supported by an automated store which will select parts and tools for workers.
The Toulouse site has not completely moved away from the manufacturer’s largest offering, however. A section will remain fitted out to perform maintenance on A380s.
The expansion comes a week after Airbus reported improved delivery numbers in H1 2023, compared to previous years, along with the success on the sales side of the business.