Future Mobile A220 final assembly line already pushing capacity

July 11, 2018, © Leeham News: The order for 60 Airbus A220-300s, when added to the order for 75 A220-100s by Delta Air Lines and the anticipated order for 60 A220-300s by USA start-up carrier Moxy Airlines, nearly fills out the new Mobile (AL) production line through 2024, an LNC analysis reveals.

Construction of the A220 Final Assembly Line (FAL) begins this year. The first delivery is planned for mid-2020.

JetBlue and Moxy show first deliveries in 2020, according to company documents. Delta’s deliveries begin this year from the Airbus Canada Montreal facility, but will shift to the Mobile plant.


Production ramp-up of the Mobile FAL will begin at 2/mo. The current plan is to ramp up to 3/mo in 2021 and 4/mo in 2022. A rate of 4/mo is currently the top production rate planned, although LNC was told the FAL will have higher capacity.


Currently, Republic Airways Holdings is shown to hold delivery slots for 10 A220-300s per year 2020-2023. These slots are likely being reassigned to Delta, Moxy or JetBlue. The Republic orders are a holdover from when the company owned Frontier Airlines; the aircraft are not expected to be delivered to Republic.

Based on excluding the Republic orders, but accounting for the other three airlines, 22 deliveries are scheduled for delivery in 2020. With a mid-year delivery for the first airplane from Mobile, there is an assumed production of 12 aircraft for the year.

This figure is an estimate, because it’s impossible at this point to know how much inventory will build before the first delivery. Whatever imbalance emerges, LNC assumes the surplus will be delivered to Delta from Montreal before its order is fully transitioned to Mobile.

As the Mobile FAL ramps up, there remains capacity in 2021, 2022 and 2024, but at the moment, 50 deliveries are scheduled in 2023 vs a capacity of 48.

Potential orders

In the US, Spirit Airlines is pondering an A220 order. United Airlines included the A220 in its current fleet review. American Airlines, with a fleet of more than 100 Airbus A319s, will be in a position to consider the A220 early next decade.

34 Comments on “Future Mobile A220 final assembly line already pushing capacity

  1. There must be a lot of consideration in easing this constraint. from a longer term view it must make senses for AB to invest in A221/3 production capacity in preference to A320 all else being equal. probably it will be the case of increasing both if there is space (as I believe there is in Mobile)

    • Well Airbus just did the new FAL in Hamburg for A320 types, so can use the tech to their next project in Mobile.

  2. Is this Delta A220 delivery schedule confirmed? The original delivery schedule called for all but 19 of the CS100 deliveries to come in the 2018-2020 period. Your estimates have 47 deliveries in 2021 and thereafter. I wouldn’t have expected such a big delay/deferral, given that Delta is now cleared to take deliveries from Montreal and expects to receive the first few by year-end.

    • How far back are you going with the “original delivery schedule?” Whatever Delta said at the time of order is unrealistic, not just due to the tariff issue but because BBD’s ramp up has been far slower than expected.

    • The first few Delta A220-100 are advancing at the Mirabel, Quebec factory. The first one, MSN 50020 will be getting its paint in a few weeks as part of my CSeries Production Update on fliegerfaust.com
      Mirabel needs to increase the production especially with a staff of 1500… can Pratt Whitney supply all those engines? Can Bombardier Belfast built so many wings per month? etc…
      Sylvain Faust

      • Just as well that they haven’t had that many orders.I suspect that the production system is a complete mess and a lot of stuff is “hand made “.Even if they had their act together,P&W didn’t.
        How much of the work can be shuffled around various countries and continents?
        Is Airbus a true multinational?How much offshoring can Boeing get away with in Brazil without losing the MAGA card?

        • At least now there’s stronger justification for bottleneck suppliers in PW’s supply chain to invest in increasing production.

          One doesn’t have to squint too much to see all this as a golden opportunity to really sell it big. C Series and GTF fitted Airbii look like going largely unchallenged for a good long while.

          There’s some time to achieve that, but there’s no time like the present to get cracking.

          • Don’t hope engines (P&W) becomes the weak link for the A220. Not technical but supply, the 32XN’s, E2’s, MRJ’s and MC21 uses GTF’s as well.

            Wonder how a LEAP-X with 73″ fan will do on the A220’s, will have the extra thrust for HGW versions of the 223 and hypothetical A220-500 for example.

          • P&W has only two of those programs that are issues.

            E2 and C Series (long rule the C!)

            The others are slow build, MC-21 only goes into service in 2020 and the MRJ who knows.

            Whats interesting is that P&W has a huge segment of the viable single aisle market (half of the A320NEO more or less, all of C and all of E2.

            Nice problem to have.

  3. Supplier rump-up the first hurdle to cross.

    Part of the 787’s recent sales success is the ability to increase production to 14/month in the near future and thereby also reducing unit cost. This could apply to A220 production considerations in future.

    • Agree, The monthly numbers shown are too low and airlines are having to wait too long and this could hurt future sales.

      • I dare say Airbus know this, and have a further scale up plan that they’re able to talk about with potential customers. I’m convinced that Airbus see their involvement with the C Series being a long term project, and will plan to be flexible with their scale-up. Perhaps the biggest unknown though is PW; even without the C series looking like a winner they’ve got serious work to do.

        I’m still staggered by the roller coaster ride it’s been. Less than a year ago it all looked finished. Now we’re talking about a second FAL being too small.

      • New program whole new level and there are always going to be hickups.

        If Boeing and Airbus can’t manage it then BBD is well excused as its a whole new level.

        The suppliers should be in a position to execute the original ramp up plan in Mirabelle.

  4. Republic is YX, not RC. The old Republic (the one that merged with Northwest) was RC. They were RW before they decided to reuse Midwest’s YX code.

  5. Would orders & deliveries from non-US customers like AirBaltic figure into the above calculations? I presume those deliveries would happen solely at Mirabel.

    • Frankly I think they will take deliveries from where they can get them and when they can get them.

      Clearly the C needs a second line and to proof it against idiotic issues it works to do so in Alabama.

      You can then add in the whole industry and political support for the US jobs it creates.

      So mostly US deliveries but there is no reason they can’t swap and negotiate those like Airbus does with its other lines.

      • The whole A220 series sold in USA will be made in USA Alabama, while the Quebec Mirabel site will be for the worldwide production of A220.

        • If there is an opening or a juggle of some kind, you can bet there is no reason for a Mirabel built not to be put into the US Market.

          Press releases are not reality.

          • It was not a press released but a Bombardier management words on the eve of Airbus take over.

          • Sure, it’s the basic plan. But if they have customer orders in country X and assembly line capacity in country Y, you can bet they’ll shuffle the orders in order to take advantage of the capacity, regardless of which assembly line it is.

          • Mobile also gives Airbus A220 production in “Airbus friendly” territory, with Mirabel being BBD territory. Right now the plan is Mobile production just for US carriers. But you can bet your last dollar that if the Canadian workers get too expensive, are too demanding, or sharing space at Mirabel with BBD becomes too much of a hassle (after Airbus inevitably buys out BBD’s/Quebec’s share) you will see future production increases at Mobile or elsewhere and less overall production done at Mirabel.

            It is a nice piece of leverage-that Airbus is making the Canadians pay for. Win win for Airbus.

          • whynot:
            It will indeed keep everyone honest (and that includes both YMX and MOB workers).

            But that was not the initial reason as you are well aware.

            This “America First” and “make no prisoners, even if ally” mentallity will make it even more urgent.

          • whynot: Airbus does not play people off against each other like that.

            They will help Mirabelle get up to snuff if needed.

            Please note P&W has extensive operations in Canada, including the C GTF and the Turbine section and has done fine.

            Many US businesses have operations in Canada and have elected to shift to Canada from the US.

            Alabama is going to go through a ramp up that will take a while.

            Hopefully Trump will self destruct and we can get back to a somewhat more rational relationship with the rest of the world.

          • If the Canadian dollar stays in the $0.75 range, Mirabel should remain very much competitive with Mobile, in spite of the unions.

        • Philippe Balducchi said that they won’t tied their hand behind their back when ask if only us clients planes will be built at tha Alabama plant. So expect mirabel to loose some delivery of international clients to Alabama.

          • Or Vice versa as things get rolling up to full speed.

  6. Took some digging but finally found the ref to the 190-E2 range at 3250 nm.

    What we need is a stop to all this and settle in on KM or a standard miles.

    You convert NM to SM in this case (which is what most of us use) you get 3750.


    That not only is Trans Con but I believe comfortably Tran Atlantic.

  7. Embarer as near as I can tell is not releasing production figures for the E2 either.

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