Airbus delivers its first aircraft produced in the U.S. to jetBluePrint
Jetblue receives A321 from Airbus team in Mobile, Alabama
“We did it. She has flown.” Daryl Taylor, Vice President & General Manager of the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility, said this in March after the first flight of the first aircraft produced in our A320 Family manufacturing facility in Mobile. The same words can be used to summarize the delivery of that same aircraft to Jetblue on April 25. The aircraft flew from the Airbus Delivery Center nearly 10 months after it arrived as five separate Major Component Assemblies (MCAs) on a ship from Hamburg. The aircraft, named BluesMobile in honor of its Mobile roots, is more than just another quality aircraft built for a customer. It is also the first of many aircraft that shows Airbus delivers on its commitments—whether it’s a pledge to bring aircraft production to Mobile, Alabama and the U.S., or delivering a quality product to our customers.
The ceremony on April 25 was a festive occasion, with a marching band and cheerleaders from the University of South Alabama (also located in Mobile) opening the ceremony.
On hand for the occasion were executives from Airbus, Jetblue’s senior management, including President and CEO Robin Hayes, and a broad collection of dignitaries from the Gulf Coast region.
“I am immensely proud to be here to participate in this first delivery from Mobile,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “Going from breaking ground on this facility three years ago to handing over the first Alabama-produced A321 today is an amazing accomplishment. The Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has brought together all the best aspects of our other assembly lines around the world, and it shows how Airbus people work hand in hand with our partners to deliver great aircraft to our customers.”
The highlight of the event was when the U.S. employees wearing football jerseys to symbolize the team they have become ALL delivered the aircraft to the customer. “What you see here is not just an aircraft. It’s a symbol of what can happen when a team works together to create something special,” said Taylor. “More than 350 teammembers started together, trained together, worked side by side with their European colleagues, came to Mobile and produced what you see today. And what you see beneath those wings—the people–is Airbus at its best.”
The next several aircraft to be delivered will be A321s for American Airlines – operator of the world’s largest Airbus fleet.