The A321XLR will be introduced in 2023, and will have a range of 8,704 km (5,808 miles.)

Airbus Adding Capacity, Remodeling "Digitally Enabled" Line

Jan. 22, 2020
The expansion planned in Toulouse, France, following a plan to expand capacity in Mobile, Ala., will address rising demand for the A321neo passenger jets.

Airbus SE plans to remodel its A380 wide-body assembly line in Toulouse, France, into a "a digitally enabled, A321 line," part of a modernization effort for its A320 production program. Last month Airbus announced it is expanding its Mobile, Ala., assembly plant with a $40-million capital investment, which will increase A320 series production by 40%.

No value was announced for the changes planned at the French plant.

At the present time the A321 is assembled at Mobile and at the Airbus location in Hamburg, Germany. Toulouse was selected for the capacity expansion due to its "overall competitiveness, time to market, investment cost, available floor space and resources," according to an announcement.

“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,” stated chief operating officer Michael Schoellhorn. “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.”

The A321 is one of seven models in the A320 series — the A319ceo, "current engine option," and A319neo, "new engine option"; A320ceo and A320neo; and A321ceo and A321neo — for short- to medium-distance routes (5,740-6,940 km / 3,567-4,312 miles), and seating 107 to 236 passengers. According to Airbus, the A320neos are the world’s best-selling, single-aisle aircraft, with over 7,100 units sold to over 110 customers.

The A321 LR version was introduced in 2015, with a range of 7,400 km (4,598 miles) and seats for 206 passengers.

The A321XLR will be introduced in 2023, and will have a range of 8,704 km (5,808 miles), with a 30% lower fuel-burn-per-seat, compared to the previous-generation competing model.

The Toulouse assembly plant has produced the largest Airbus passenger jet, the A380, since 2003. Airbus announced last February that it will discontinue new A380 assembly after delivery of the final new model to Emirates Airline in 2021.

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