Home Manufacturer News Where are Airbus Planes Built?

Where are Airbus Planes Built?

by Matt Falcus

Airbus is one of the two largest airliner manufacturers in the world, alongside Boeing.

It is a company which utilises various other manufacturers who produce parts of its aircraft, which are then brought together at different sites to assemble the final airframes.

 

History of Airbus

First flight of the Airbus A300B4 (c) Airbus

Airbus Industries was founded in 1970 with the intention of producing a new European airliner as a collaboration between many of the established European aircraft manufacturers of the time, to rival established companies like Boeing, Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas who dominated the airliner industry.

The manufacturer brought together various European governments in a joint venture to create Airbus. Each government supported companies from their own countries to form the new consortium, such as Aerospatiale (France), British Aerospace (UK), Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (Germany) and CASA (Spain).

The first airliner produced was the A300. This was the world’s first widebody (twin-aisle) airliner to only use two engines, and went on to great success.

Future products have included the A310, A320 family, A330, A340, A350 and A380.

Today Airbus is producing neo (New Engine Option) models of its A320 family and A330 aircraft, which are proving very popular with the world’s airlines.

 

Where are Airbus Planes Built

Toulouse Spotting Hill

Airbus A350 prototype at Toulouse.

Today, Airbus has a number of production sites around the world where its aircraft (not just airliners, but military aircraft and helicopters) are built.

The two main sites are at Toulouse in France (the Airbus headquarters) and Hamburg’s Finkenwerder Airport in Germany.

In addition, Airbus has manufacturing sites in China, Canada, the USA, Spain and the UK.

The full list of Airbus manufacturing sites are:

  • Toulouse, France – A320neo, A330 family, A350
  • Hamburg Finkenwerder, Germany – A318, A319, A320 and A321neo families
  • Seville, Spain – A400 military transport
  • Mobile, AL, USA – A220, A319, A320 and A321neo families
  • Tianjin, China – A319 and A320neo families
  • Montreal Mirabel, Canada – A220
  • Broughton, UK – Wings for various aircraft types

Inside the Airbus factory at Hamburg Finkenwerder.

[Read Our Hamburg Finkenwerder – Spotting Guide]

 

How does Airbus production work?

BelugaXL

With its production lines being scattered across the world, Airbus needed an innovative solution to bring the parts of its aircraft together for final assembly.

To do this, it employs a fleet of super transporter aircraft which ferry parts between production sites.

Originally, these were old Aero Spacelines Guppy aircraft, developed from the Boeing Stratocruiser.

In the 1990s a fleet of so-called Beluga aircraft were built, based on the Airbus A300-600 jet airliner. These had much higher capacity.

Today, a new fleet of ‘BelugaXL’ aircraft are being introduced to slowly replace the original Belugas. These are based on the Airbus A330 aircraft, and have even greater capacity.

 

The sheer success of Airbus, despite being relatively young compared to its main rival Boeing, saw it deliver more airliners than any other manufacturer in 2021, and it has a healthy order book.

Despite calling time on the iconic A380 superjumbo recently, Airbus is pressing ahead with massive demand for its A320neo family of aircraft, an in particular the A321XLR, which looks set to revolutionise long-haul travel.

It also recently announced the A350 freighter variant, with orders coming in for the new type already.

 

 

You may also like

6 comments

Anton January 19, 2022 - 6:44 pm

Think you have a typo in the locationsL “Montreal Mirabel, China – A220”. There are a lot of Chinese in some parts of Canada but last time I checked Montreal was still part of Canada! 🙂

Reply
Matt Falcus January 20, 2022 - 10:54 am

Well spotted Anton! That has been corrected.

Reply
MERV CROWE January 20, 2022 - 4:12 am

I have been extremely fortunate in having flown on all the AIRBUS types, A318 (AVIANCA), 319/320/321, 330-200 and 300; A340-200 and 300; A350 and A380. First AIRBUS flt was AIR FRANCE A300 F-GBEA CDG/LHR July 1979 ( jump seat as a bonus )

Have been to the Broughton factory at Hawarden airport, Cheshire.

Reply
Matt Falcus January 20, 2022 - 10:54 am

Very lucky Merv! I’m still missing a few of them, and probably won’t be able to log flights in the early A300 now.

Reply
Martin Dennett January 20, 2022 - 11:02 pm

Technically, Hawarden airport isn’t in Cheshire. It isn’t even in England! It’s in Flint, Wales even though it’s occasionally referred to as Chester Airport. Confusing to say the least!

Reply
Kathy October 9, 2022 - 10:42 pm

Are lingus was a great flight-was an Airbus -was no problems at all with turbulence as I’ve had in the USA over and over —I’ve probably been on boing planes in the usa—felt lot safer and secure on the Airbus—and was from the USA to Ireland and back

Reply

Leave a Comment