(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE has restarted work converting a French assembly line once used for its A380 super-jumbo to build single-aisle jets, in another sign that the planemaker is gearing up for a recovery.
The project in Toulouse had been delayed last year during the early ravages of the coronavirus crisis. The line will be used to make A320 and A321 aircraft and should be operational by the end of 2022, Airbus said Wednesday in a statement.
The company is reviving the project “with market recovery in sight and a potential return to pre-Covid production rates for single-aisle aircraft between 2023 and 2025,” Airbus said.
The move will boost Airbus’ French presence in single-aisle jets, underscoring an industry shift away from larger planes that accelerated during the pandemic. The company has been communicating with suppliers on its ramp-up plans for the A320-family.
Read: Airbus Readies Suppliers for Next Step in A320 Ramp-Up
With existing facilities in Hamburg, Germany, and Mobile, Alabama, Toulouse will become the third Airbus plant making the larger A321 version of the narrow-body jet.
This should improve Airbus’ production quality and competitiveness, Airbus said, while supporting the entry into service of the long-range A321XLR variant from Hamburg in 2023.
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