With production of the wide-body A380 jet coming to a close in the near future and just five remaining aircraft due for delivery, Airbus has turned its attention to expanding production facilities for the increasingly popular A321 Family narrow-body jet.
The European planemaker has revealed plans to convert its Toulouse A380 line into a ‘digitally-enabled’ production line for the more popular A321 range of aircraft. At the present moment Airbus produces A321s at both Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, Alabama, USA. The A320neo Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle with over 7100 aircraft sold to over 110 customers.
Within this Family, the A321XLR is the latest evolutionary step which has been developed to meet 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% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous-generation competitor aircraft.
By mid-2022 the current A380 Lagardère facility in Toulouse will accommodate a digitally-enabled A321 line as a step to modernize 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 Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus Chief Operating Officer. “In order to optimize 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.”