The first delivery of an A321 aircraft from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility to Spirit Airlines took place today in Mobile, Alabama.
On hand for the occasion were executives from Airbus and Spirit Airlines, 140 Spirit Airlines employees, and the 350 Airbus employees at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility.
“Many years ago, Spirit recognized that Airbus was the right partner to provide the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, which allowed them to become a leading Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the U.S.,” said Bob Lekites, Executive Vice President-Customers, Airbus Americas. “It’s been a successful partnership, and this aircraft — the first to be produced for Spirit in Mobile and the U.S.A — will hold a special place in our memories as we go forward. It’s truly a great milestone.”
“This is an exciting day for Spirit Airlines,” said Bob Fornaro, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines. “Our Fit Fleet is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the industry and we’re thrilled to add our first American-made aircraft to the Spirit family. Spirit’s all-Airbus fleet helps us maintain an efficient, streamlined operation, allowing the company to save on costs and provide customers with ultra-low fares.”
Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and less than one year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015. The aircraft delivered today is the 10th aircraft delivered from Mobile.
Airbus anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of 2017. The initial deliveries will all be A320 Family aircraft with the Current Engine Option (CEO), but will begin transitioning to New Engine Option (NEO) derivatives in late 2017.
In addition to hundreds of new Airbus jobs the project has brought to the local community, the Mobile area has seen many Airbus suppliers open new facilities in the region, providing even more employment and a parallel boost to the local economy. Airbus is proud that 87 percent of its new employees are from the Gulf Coast region, with nearly one third being U.S. military veterans.
Demonstrating the adage “The Sun Never Sets on Airbus Manufacturing” – Airbus aircraft are now produced around the clock, 24 hours a day, at facilities in: Mobile, Alabama; Hamburg, Germany; Toulouse, France; and Tianjin, China.