Airbus has exclusively built the A321 at Finkenwerder near Hamburg, part of a deal with France that saw most of the A320 work in Toulouse.
There’s been a complex set of agreements over where new aircraft will be built because of the high paying jobs they bring. This time however with the A380 coming to an end Airbus is facing either paying off skilled workers or giving them something else to do.
Strictly speaking Hamburg should have been on top of the list for the A321 additional line but with so many trained staff already on site at Toulouse, the decision has been made to build it there, replacing the A380 line.
Part of the A321 problem has been the introduction of CabinFlex, which has complicated fuselage and cabin build on the production line, with up to 18 different variations coming through in no particular order from a fitting perspective.
Hamburg is struggling to train 1000 new staff and an additional 20 robots to get A321 production to target.
More experienced A380 staff and lessons learned from Hamburg Finkenwerder look to help resolve production delays and speed up deliveries. The line should be operating by mid-2022.