Airbus is set invest 60 million euros in developing an assembly line dedicated to the Airbus A321XLR production at Saint-Nazaire assembly site in France, news reports said on Friday.
Work at Saint-Nazaire assembly site is expected to begin in June 2021, with plans to go live by summer 2022. Simpleflying.com reported that after production of the Airbus’ A380 production ceased, there was ample space available for the addition of a new production line. This would dedicated to A321XLR production and used to manufacture parts for the aircraft.
Presently, the site has four active production lines for A320-family planes dedicated to the aircraft’s central and front sections, the report said. The new production line is expected to build the front-end fuselage of the A321XLR.
Know the A321XLR
- The latest evolution of the A321neo with 4,700nm range
- Bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft
- Combining single-aisle economics with long-haul widebody cabin comfort
Several employees previously deployed on A380 production lines will now be working on the A321XLR facility. With the addition of the new line, A320-family production is predicted to reach 90 planes per month. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the rate stood at 63 aircraft a month.
The space freed up after A380 production was discontinued, will now provide an opportunity to integrate advanced industrial robotics into the line. The Saint Nazaire site, which employed over 3,200 workers, has had to cut 386 jobs. However, with the recent announcement, many of these jobs will be saved, the above quoted report said.
As per the report, over 450 A321XLR planes have been ordered so far by 22 airlines and two leasing companies. Preparations for the plane’s production have been underway at Airbus’ Toulouse and Hamburg facilities since the beginning of 2020.
Airbus announced the aircraft in June 2019 with a with 4,700nm range and promising a 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft.
Starting from 2023, the aircraft will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – 15% more than the A321LR and with the same unbeatable fuel efficiency. Airbus said that with this added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily travelled routes – many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft.
This will enable operators to open new world-wide routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as further extending the Family’s non-stop reach on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.
For passengers, the A321XLR’s new airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on long-haul widebody aircraft.
For Airbus, the A320neo Family has been it’s best-selling single aisle aircraft with over 6,500 orders from more than 100 customers since its launch in 2010. It incorporates new-generation engines and Sharklet wing-tip devices plus other improvements which together bring double-digit fuel savings over its predecessor, the A320ceo Family.