Airbus inaugurates new FAL in Toulouse, France to bolster A321neo production

Airbus introduced another A321neo FAL in Toulouse, France
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With the A321neo fast becoming Airbus’ most popular aircraft, the European Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) inaugurated a new Final Assembly Line (FAL) for the aircraft in Toulouse, France. 

According to Airbus, the FAL, which is the former site where the Airbus A380 was built, will re-create 700 jobs by 2026, which is half the workforce that worked there previously, per a report by Reuters.  

Airbus first announced its intention to replace the A380’s FAL with the A321neo line in January 2020, almost a year after Airbus announced that it would cancel production of the A380 in February 2019. 

READ MORE: Airbus to replace A380 FAL with A321 FAL in Toulouse, France 

The European OEM rolled out the last-ever A380 in December 2021, delivering the aircraft to Emirates, the largest customer of the type by a large margin. In total, the Dubai International Airport (DXB)-based airline took delivery of 123 Airbus A380s, and, per Airbus Orders & Deliveries data as of June 30, 2023, currently operates 120 aircraft of the type. 

With the announcement of the A320 new engine option (neo) aircraft family in December 2010 and the introduction of the type with Lufthansa in January 2016, the A321neo has amassed a greater number of orders compared to its smaller counterparts, namely the A319neo and A320neo. 

As of June 30, 2023, Airbus had booked 5,163 orders for the A321neo, 4,313 for the A320neo, and 92 for the A319neo. This reversed a trend from the previous generation when the A320 current engine option (ceo) overshadowed the A321ceo with 4763 and 1,791 orders, respectively, as of June 30, 2023. 

Airbus delivered the last new A320ceo family aircraft, an A321ceo, to Delta Air Lines in December 2021. 

The new FAL will help the manufacturer to bolster its position in the highly lucrative narrow-body jet market, which it largely dominates compared to Boeing’s 737 MAX. Airbus has so far delivered 2,848 A320neo family aircraft (as of June 30, 2023), while Boeing’s customers received 1,196 737 MAXs (as of May 31, 2023), according to both manufacturers’ latest Orders & Deliveries data. 

Airbus aims to produce 75 A320neo family aircraft per month in 2026 throughout its several FALs, including another one in Toulouse, and others in Hamburg, Germany, Mobile, Alabama, and Tianjin, China. In April 2023, the European planemaker announced that another FAL would go online in Tianjin, China, by the end of 2025.  

In a previous statement to AeroTime, an Airbus spokesperson said the second line in China will create “more flexibility in a fragile ecosystem and meets the needs of the market”.  

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