Alabama officials welcome Airbus-Bombardier partnership plan

Airbus and Bombardier have the necessary regulatory approvals to close a deal that will allow assembly of the Bombardier C Series aircraft at the Airbus facility in Mobile. [Photo Credit: contributed/Alabama Newscenter]

Alabama officials today congratulated Airbus and Bombardier on making significant progress toward the completion of a partnership deal that could see the companies establish a new assembly line for Bombardier’s C Series passenger jets at Airbus’ Mobile facility.

Aerospace giant Airbus and Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier this morning said they have received all necessary regulatory approvals for a transaction that will give Airbus majority ownership in the C Series partnership. The deal is expected to close July 1.

In the announcement, the companies said increased demand for C Series aircraft is expected to support the creation of a second assembly line at the Airbus facility in Mobile. That echoes earlier statements from company executives about plans for a possible new Alabama assembly line.

Gov. Kay Ivey said Alabama is ready to support the plans to expand aircraft production at Airbus’ manufacturing center in Mobile.

“The alliance between these two great aircraft manufacturers and the future production of C Series passenger jets in Mobile underscore the strength of Alabama’s aerospace industry and our skilled workforce,” Ivey said.

“Alabamians take pride in their work, and we look forward to adding the C Series aircraft to the world-class products that are made with care in Sweet Home Alabama.”

Accelerating growth
Airbus began assembling A320 aircraft at its Mobile production center in 2015. [Photo Credit: Airbus/Alabama Newscenter]

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the completion of the C Series partnership has the potential to turn Mobile into a major global production center for aircraft.

“These plans represent a powerful testament to the partnership between Airbus and its U.S. industrial home in Alabama,” Canfield added. “This development is a win-win for Airbus and Bombardier, and it will accelerate growth in Alabama’s high-flying aerospace sector.”

Airbus launched production of A320 family aircraft at the Mobile manufacturing facility in 2015. The $600 million complex now produces four aircraft a month and employs more than 400 people.

“All of us at Airbus are excited to welcome the employees of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership into the extended Airbus team, and to welcome the C Series aircraft to Airbus’ product offerings beginning July 1. It will also be exciting to see us grow further in Mobile,” said Kristi Tucker, spokesperson for Airbus.

Officials at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce cheered the news.

“Additional capacity has always been a goal of our economic development team,” said David Rodgers, vice president of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber. “Since the initial Airbus FAL (final assembly line) opened in 2015, more than 20 aerospace companies have located to Mobile. We’re looking forward to continuing to see additional investment here, as we work to grow our aerospace cluster.”

The Airbus-Bombardier alliance was originally announced in October 2017.

Republished with the permission of the Alabama Newscenter.