Three questions to Daryl Taylor
For this edition of Noticias Airbus we sat down with Daryl Taylor is Senior Vice President of U.S. Commercial Operations. Daryl oversees manufacturing operations for A320 and A220 Family aircraft at Airbus’ U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama.
1. Tell us a bit about the history of the FAL in Mobile
Around 2010, Airbus realized the tremendous potential in establishing a commercial aircraft manufacturing facility in the United States in order to meet the growing demand for new, more efficient planes by U.S. airlines. Intermodal transportation requirements made Mobile, Alabama, specifically the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley (a former U.S. Air Force base), a prime location as it provides unparalleled access to a seaport, railroads, an airport and interstate highways.
In July of 2012, Airbus announced they would build an A320 Family production facility in Mobile – now known as Airbus’ U.S. Manufacturing Facility. Two-and-a-half years later the site celebrated the start of operations, and the first Mobile-built aircraft was delivered to JetBlue in April of 2016.
In 2017, Airbus purchased an ownership stake in the former Bombardier C-Series aircraft, now known as the A220. Due to the success of the U.S. Manufacturing Facility and strong U.S. customer demand, Airbus determined that an A220 final assembly line would be constructed in Mobile alongside the existing A320 assembly line. Airbus broke ground on the A220 assembly line in January 2019, and the first A220 was delivered in September of 2020.
In 2022 Airbus announced the ramp up of single aisle aircraft production worldwide. With that news, the company also announced they would build a second A320 assembly line in Mobile to support the operational ramp up.
In 2023 we delivered aircraft to our first non-U.S.-based customers, Volaris and JetSMART. This was a significant milestone for Airbus, the City of Mobile and our business and community partners.
2. This year we saw the first international deliveries come out of Mobile, why is this milestone important?
Our first international deliveries to Volaris and JetSMART were significant milestones. First, they reinforce the significance of Airbus’ global industrialization system. They also allow our customers to take delivery of their aircraft from a location that’s geographically more convenient for them.
Latin America represents a growing market for the aerospace industry, and diversifying our customer base enables us to gain valuable international business experience that will be beneficial as we continue to grow.
3. In October Airbus celebrated the expansion of the Mobile facilities, what does this mean concretely?
Earlier this year we celebrated the expansion of our site in Mobile including the start of construction of our second A320 final assembly line. There are a number of hangars and infrastructure projects taking place on site to support the ramp up of both our A320 and A220 programs in Mobile.
In addition to more than doubling the footprint of our manufacturing site, we are currently on the path to hiring 1,000 employees to support Airbus’ growing commercial aircraft operations in the U.S.