Very little of what I saw Sunday is something I can have in this story. All images and video from the final assembly line tour Sunday have been embargoed. I got on a shuttle with aviation reporters.
“For Mobile the issue is really employment and business right, this is a huge boon for the industry, it’s a huge boon for the region in terms of getting people and the economic growth here,” said Seth Miller with Runway Girl Network. With a bus full of aviation reporters–they’re curious. They’re about not only how the plane assembly works but how the dollars and cents will work.
“I’m curious about how, because of the economics of building something here in the south, how that’s outweighed a lot of the costs in the logistics of transportation,” said Chris Sloan with Airways Magazine. Others I spoke with say Airbus’s American footprint will give them more stability in a global economy.
“Airbus sells its planes in us dollars its content has been in euros, labor content, now that content is in dollars and it can better balance and avoid currency risk,” said Ernest Arvai with Air Insight. They agree this is a big deal for Mobile and the city’s name will be mentioned in just about every aviation power house for a while.
“They’re all obviously very familiar with Airbus and their products but to have a delivery as well as the final assembly is a big deal,” said Karen Walker with Air Transport World. It’s a journey that began long before airbus inked a deal with Alabama in 2012. Mobile’s aviation dreams began with the Air force refueling tanker which the city landed then lost.
“It’s been about 10 years for this all to come to fruition so it means a lot of job creation and long term possibilities,” said freelance writer Paul Thompson.