On April 6 th Airbus announced that they were pausing production at their Mobile Alabama facility until April 29 2020 due to the Corona virus pandemic outbreak. This was done in an effort to reduce the spread of Corona virus in the area, as well as reduce the spread of the Corona virus amongst its Mobile Alabama employee base. An Airbus spokesperson confirmed this week that production will resume after the pause is over with on April 29th.
Activities that continued uninterrupted in Mobile included building and maintenance installation, including the construction of the new Airbus A220 final assembly line that is set to open later this year, aircraft maintenance, some critical product safety and customer driven operations, receipt and control of material and components, critical administrative support and preparation of activity restart.
The Airbus spokesperson did say that once work does resume at its Mobile Alabama production facility, it will resume under strict social distancing and hygiene rules, recommended by the CDC, to ensure the personal safety of its employees on site. The spokesperson also said that any work that can be done remotely will continue to be done so remotely.
Airbus has also paused production and assembly work in Spain, France, and Germany, which had a production pause at the same time Mobile production was paused.
The Coronavirus pandemic has severely affected operations of airlines around the world. That resulting cratering of business has affected the aircraft manufacturing industry as well. In the month of March, Airbus’s chief rival, Boeing, saw a major cancellation of it s popular 737 Max airliner, which has been grounded for more than 13 months due to safety concerns following two similar crashes involving new 737 Max airliners in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Boeing has also pulled out of a partnership with Brazilian air framer Embraer, possibly do to its financial troubles with the Max and resulting downturn in the aircraft manufacturing industry due to the pandemic. Boeing also just restarted production and it’s Washington State production facilities after pausing production due to the spread of the Coronavirus as well.
There has been no word yet on if the pause and production at the Mobile facility will further delay the delivery of Delta Airlines’ first Mobile Alabama built A220 or not. Even though Delta Airlines has grounded over half its fleet due to decreased demand, every single one of the A220s that Delta Airlines has taken delivery of so far continues to fly. The A220, designed and initially built by Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier, is one of the most fuel-efficient airliners flying today.