UPDATE 8:20 AM
Airbus announces that Japan’s low cost air carrier “Peach Aviation” will buy three A320s. That’s the same type of aircraft that’s going to be built in Mobile. Yesterday G-E announced it was buying 60 A320s. It’s a deal valued at more than $6.4 million according the Reuters. It’s hard to say whether any of these orders will be built in Mobile.
“The Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile is designed to mainly support U.S. operators. With leasing companies, we do not know the operator at the time of contract signature, so the final production point (Toulouse, Hamburg or Mobile) can only be ensured at a later stage when the operator is selected by the lessor (in this case, GECAS). It is important to remember that the Mobile U.S. Manufacturing Facility is a part of Airbus’ global manufacturing chain; as such, any new order for A320 Family aircraft from anyone in the world strengthens the Mobile site,” said Airbus Spokesperson Kristi Tucker in an e-mail exchange with me Monday.
In conjunction with day two of the Paris Airshow, MAAS Aviation announces plans to open up its own dual hangar paint facility by the fall of 2016. MAAS already will work in the final assembly line paint shop on the Mobile Airbus site. The new facility will allow them to work on new Airbus planes as well as break into the MRO market. MRO stands for maintenance, repair and overhaul when it comes to aviation. This new facility with be south of the Airbus location and expand Brookley’s presence in the MRO portion of the aviation industry.
It’s a company that doesn’t get a lot of press but they’ve had a plant in Mobile County for three decades. Much of the Alabama delegation is taking a trip to Colombes, France. This trip doesn’t have anything to do with the Air Show itself but it’s meant to maintain a good relationship with a longstanding corporate citizen. Arkema Inc. has a plant in Mobile County.
“It would be crazy to be this close to their headquarters and not pay them a visit to thank them for their continued investment in Mobile’s economy,” said Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Leigh Perry-Herndon in an e-mail exchange Monday. Recently the company announced it’s expanding at its Axis location with a $60 million investment. The company is trying to expand its market share in the growing 3D printing arena. Arkema makes plastics and tries developing new materials for industry.
They’ll be back on the aviation beat later today. The Alabama delegation will host a reception for more than 200 aerospace executives of existing local industries and prospects.