Airbus announced Thursday plans to increase production and bring 275 new jobs to the airplane manufacturing company’s plant in Mobile.
“Airbus’ ever-expanding footprint in Mobile has become the core of a rapidly growing aerospace cluster throughout the Gulf Coast. Moreover, the company’s plans to increase aircraft production in Alabama, yet once again, means new investment and new jobs,” said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in a statement Thursday. “Today’s news of the Airbus expansion is a big vote of confidence in the quality and caliber of the Alabama workforce. Today’s announcement will also better position Mobile to remain on track to becoming one of the top four cities in the world for aerospace manufacturing. I look forward to seeing Airbus reach future milestones at its U.S. manufacturing home in Sweet Home Alabama.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby applauded the news as well, citing the company’s continued growth in the state.
“Supporting economic investment and job growth remains one of my highest priorities. I applaud Airbus for increasing the production rate and adding more good-paying jobs in Mobile,” Shelby said in a statement. “This expansion highlights Airbus’ continued commitment to Alabama. I am proud they are building advanced, state-of-the-art aircraft in our state and honored for this world-renowned company to call Mobile home.”
Airbus will begin hiring the additional workers this year to ramp up production of Airbus’s A320 family of aircraft to seven per month. The additional jobs come after the company added 600 new workers in 2019.
“The significant expansion of Airbus’ manufacturing activities in Mobile will make the area an even more attractive location for aerospace suppliers and service providers, which will bring in additional jobs and investment,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, in a statement Thursday. “With demand remaining strong for new aircraft, I’m confident that Mobile will see continued growth in the aviation sector as it builds toward critical mass.”
“Airbus is proud to call Alabama home and we’re thrilled to announce a production rate increase for our best-selling A320 aircraft,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, Chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, in a statement. “The support we receive from Senator Shelby and our other supporters in Alabama made growing the Mobile operation an easy and obvious decision for Airbus.”
In 2015, Airbus opened a $600 million, 53-acre facility in Mobile, and construction began on a second final assembly line for the A220 aircraft in January 2019.
The Mobile production facility has more than 1,000 employees, and by the end of 2020 Airbus expects to employee 1,300 workers at the plant.