Airbus already sees market recovery ‘in sight’ as it resumes modernization works on its new, digitally-enabled A321 final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse, France. 

The modernized A320/A321 FAL will replace one of the original Toulouse A320 FALs and be installed in the former A380 Lagardère facility. The company expects it to be operational by 2022. 

Once operational, the new FAL will be the third Airbus production site where the A321 are assembled. Currently, the only Airbus production sites configured to assemble A321s are Hamburg, Germany, and Mobile, in the United States. 

The Lagardère site in Toulouse, which previously produced the A380, was initially supposed to accommodate an Airbus A321 family Final Assembly Line (FAL) starting from mid-2021. However, Airbus halted the works at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. 

At the time, the company also cut its commercial aircraft production by around 40%. Now, Airbus expects its narrow-body production rates to resume to the pre-crisis level between 2023 and 2025, stating that market recovery is “in sight”. 

The shining new jet was pictured rolling out from station 40 of the Airbus Toulouse production site in France in the morning of September 23, 2020 on its way to station 35. The aircraft, carrying assembly number MSN 272, is the last Airbus A380 to be produced.