The best-selling family of commercial aircraft, the A320 jetliner has now one more place to be produced. Airbus opened on July 10 a new Final Assembly Line (FAL) at its Toulouse facility in France.
“The inauguration of this new A321-capable final assembly line in Toulouse represents another milestone in the ongoing modernization of our global industrial system. This FAL will contribute to the ongoing production rate ramp-up to 75 A320 Family aircraft per month in 2026, while meeting the increased demand for A321s which currently represents around 60 percent of the total A320 Family backlog,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
The new assembly line in Toulouse is the second FAL of the A320 Family at the European aerospace group’s French plant. The single-aisle jets are assembled on four other Airbus FALs in Hamburg, Germany, two in Mobile, United States, and another two in Tianjin, China. Currently, the manufacturer produces around 45 series aircraft per month.
According to the CEO of Airbus, all production lines of the A320 Family will be “capable of assembling the A321”.
Former home of the A380
The new FAL of the A320 jets in Toulouse was installed in the “Jean-Luc Lagardère” building. It was there that Airbus assembled the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in history and which ceased production in 2021.
According to Airbus, work on the new line began at the end of 2022, with the assembly of the first fuselage sections of an A321. The completion of this model should occur by the end of this year.
Airbus also took advantage of the opening of the new FAL to apply a variety of innovations to the A320 production process. Line workers have access to digital production controls using tablets and smartphones, automated logistics systems for parts distribution and light robot assistance to join aircraft parts.
By 2025, the facility is expected to directly employ around 700 workers, said Airbus, which has more than 5,100 orders for the A321 – in addition to more than 5,000 orders for other A320 variants.