Airbus SAS reported it has received the major component of an A320 aircraft at Mobile, Ala., and started building the first such commercial aircraft at its North American assembly operation, calling it an important milestone for the plant. To date, the Mobile operation has produced 27 aircraft, all of the A321 variant.
The European aircraft OEM, headquartered in Toulouse, France, committed to build the $600-million single-aisle assembly line in Mobile in 2012. Assembly operations began there in 2015, and the first aircraft completed there was tested and delivered to JetBlue just over one year ago.
The plant was designed to assemble the Airbus A320 series of narrow-body aircraft: the A319, A320, and A321. All are twin-engine aircraft, with carrying capacity for up to 220 passengers and a range of 3,100 to 12,000 km (1,700 to 6,500 nmi.)
The jet now under construction will be delivered later this year to Spirit Airlines, the Florida-based carrier that operates an all-Airbus fleet.