Airbus is upgrading its former A380 production facility with a modern digitally enabled A320/A321 final assembly line (FAL).
The new line will be installed at the Lagardère facility where the last A380 rolled off the production line in March this year.
The new FAL will also replace one of the original Toulouse A320 FALs and should be up and running by the end of 2022.
The move also signifies Airbus’ growing optimism that the global aviation situation is improving after huge swathes of the sector were closed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initial plans to introduce A321 production capabilities in Toulouse were put on hold at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, following the decision to reduce commercial aircraft production by around 40%.
And it is now resuming the project as it predicts a market recovery in sight and a potential return to pre-Covid production rates for single-aisle aircraft between 2023 and 2025.
Hamburg and Mobile (Alabama) are currently the only Airbus production sites configured to assemble A321s.
Airbus said the modernised A320 family FAL in Toulouse will help improve the working conditions, the overall industrial flow as well as the quality and competitiveness by adding a new-generation assembly line to its single-aisle production system.
This higher level of A321 production flexibility will also support entry-into-service of the A321XLR from Hamburg starting in 2023.
The A320 family is the world’s best-selling commercial aircraft, with more than 15,500 aircraft sold to more than 320 customers and a further 5,650+ in the backlog.