16 November 2013
Toulouse-FAL expansion in progress to be prepared for the A350 ramp up.
As Airbus is preparing for the industrial phase of the stretched A350-1000, the company is expanding capacity at its final assembly line in Toulouse. It is adding a third station 50 where the current station 59 is located, and station 59, which is used for sections preparation, will move to the other side of the final assembly line.
Currently, two of the four station 40s are used for wing assembly and two for testing, but once the second part of the final assembly line is completed, all four stations will be used for wing assembly. Further integration and outfitting work is taking place in the four station 30 bays, which are still under construction and will be used from the end of 2014. Airbus has decided to add a fifth station 30 by the end of 2015 to increase capacity.
Head of Program Mr. Didier Evrard said that the set-up will be sufficient for the planned production rate of 10 aircraft per month, and that it also has capacity reserves to go beyond that threshold if market demand is strong enough.
Airbus will be at the production rate of one per month by the end of this year, and a rate of three per month by the end of 2014. Evrard pointed out that he expected strong demand for the -1000 variant and that Airbus now has the flexibility to mix production between the -900 and the -1000, up to around a 50/50 split.
Based on the article “Airbus Sets A350-900 Service Entry Target, Expands Production Capacity” published in Aviationweek