Airbus to add Bombardier C-Series jet production line in Alabama

Airbus to add Bombardier C-Series jet production line in Alabama
The two companies say the Bombardier C Series jets, which seat 100 to 150 passengers, complement the Airbus A320 Family jets, which seat 150 to 240. (Airbus)

Airbus and Canadian aircraft producer Bombardier announced a partnership that will bring assembly of Bombardier’s C Series passenger jets to the Airbus manufacturing facility in Mobile.

The companies said the alliance will result in a second assembly line at the Airbus facility, though the announcement didn’t contain specific details about expansion. An Airbus spokeswoman said the partnership is in its early stages, though it will lead to growth at the company’s Mobile Aeroplex assembly line.

“Not only will this partnership secure the C Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the U.K. and China, but we also bring new jobs to the U.S.,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders.

“Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide.”

Alabama officials expressed optimism that the C Series production plans will mean significant new capital investment in the Mobile manufacturing facility, along with new jobs.

“This acquisition by Airbus and promise of new investments in Alabama show that our aerospace sector is strong and that our workforce can support an additional assembly line,” Gov. Kay Ivey said.

“Alabamians take pride in their work, and that is showing on Airbus aircraft around the world. We look forward to adding the C Series aircraft as another product proudly made in Sweet Home Alabama.”

Under a new alliance, Airbus and Bombardier will shift some C-Series production to Alabama. (Bombardier)

Expanding a partnership

Airbus announced plans to build its Mobile facility in 2012 and began assembling A320 Family aircraft at the Alabama plant in late 2015. Today, it has around 400 employees as it ramps up to full production, when the operation will support around 1,000 jobs. Read a story on how the jobs have transformed lives.

“This is another great testament to the partnership between Airbus and its U.S industrial home in Mobile and Alabama,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“This is a win-win for Airbus and Bombardier, as well as a positive development for Alabama’s prime trade partners in Canada and Québec.”

Bombardier’s C Series aircraft, which seat between 100 and 150 people, are seen as complementary to the Alabama-made A320 Family passenger jets, which accommodate between 150 and 240 people. Airbus said the single-aisle market is a key driver for growth in the industry, representing an expected 70 percent of future aircraft demand.

“The C Series, with its state-of-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast-growing market sector,” Enders said.

Under the partnership, Airbus is acquiring a 50.1 percent stake in C-Series production.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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