Airbus could create around 500 more jobs as part of plans to increase production at its wing manufacturing plant in North Wales. The A320 aircraft production ramp-up plan was confirmed in the first quarter 2022 results.
The aerospace giant announced that its consolidated revenues increased by 15% to reach 12 billion euros and its consolidated profits of 1,263 million euros, almost double the same period in 2021. This positive outlook mean that Airbus is now considering expanding production of the hugely popular A320 Family.
Production levels during the pandemic have plummeted, with A320 monthly rates falling from 60 to 40. This has seen employment at Broughton drop from around 6,000 to just over 4,000.
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But they are now targeting a monthly rate of 65 by summer 2023 and 75 in 2025. The latest increase in investment has the potential to create between 450 and 550 new jobs at its Broughton plant, where around £100m sterling could be invested.
However, the planned entry into service of the A321XLR has been pushed back from 2023 to early 2024 to meet certification requirements.
Airbus said: “Following an analysis of global customer demand as well as an assessment of the readiness of the industrial ecosystem, the company is now working with its suppliers and partners to enable monthly production rates of 75 in 2025. This increase in production will benefit the whole world. industrial value chain. Airbus will respond to the higher production rates by increasing the capacity of its existing industrial sites and expanding the industrial footprint in Mobile, USA, while investing to ensure that all commercial aircraft assembly sites are compatible with the A321.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething welcomed the increase in investment for Broughton. He said: “This announcement is fantastic news for Wales. Airbus’ plans to increase wing production at Deeside will lead to significant growth in the skilled workforce alongside huge investment. This is a real vote of confidence in Wales and the talented workforce in Broughton.
“Airbus’ plans mean more Welsh-made wings will be flying on the very latest Airbus planes around the world, sending a clear signal that Wales is a nation with an excellent reputation for advanced manufacturing. – which is only made possible by our world class workforce. The Welsh Government will continue to work closely with Airbus to ensure we have the pool of skilled talent the business needs to grow its workforce in the years to come.
An Airbus spokesperson added: “The planned increase in the production rate to 75 A320 Family aircraft per month in 2025, in close cooperation with our suppliers and partners, will benefit the entire value chain. global industry. Airbus will respond to the higher production rates by investing to increase the capacity of its existing commercial aircraft assembly sites, including in the UK/Broughton, which will result in the creation of highly skilled jobs and additional job opportunities.”
Welsh secretary Simon Hart said: “Airbus has confirmed it is increasing production of single-aisle commercial aircraft to 75 aircraft per month – a 40% increase. A huge vote of confidence in Wales as part of a Britain world.”