BBC Chartering: "Aircraft Carrier" for Airbus
May 2015 – The m/v BBC Fuji transformed in a new type of “aircraft carrier” when it loaded the components for the first Airbus aircraft to be produced in the US on Friday, May 29 in Hamburg, Germany. The vessel set course for Mobile, Alabama where Airbus established its first U.S. Manufacturing Facility to assemble and deliver A319, A320 and A321 aircraft to meet the growing needs of its customers in the United States and elsewhere. The Mobile plant is the company’s fourth’ major production facility in the network which includes Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China.
Onboard the BBC Fuji were the wings produced in the UK, the rear fuselage section produced in Germany including the tail cone (produced in Spain), and the forward fuselage section, including the cockpit produced in France, all of which contain parts from all over the world. The horizontal (from Spain) and vertical (from Germany) stabilizers are also on board. Airbus reported that the first aircraft to be completed in Mobile is an A321ceo destined for delivery to JetBlue in 2016.
BBC Chartering was selected as ocean carrier and multi-year partner to cater for the Trans-Atlantic transport of the large aircraft components. Svend Andersen CEO of BBC Chartering remarked, “We are proud that BBC Chartering qualified as supply chain partner to support Airbus’ undertakings in the coming years.”
According to Airbus, the $600 million facility is expected to employ about 1,000 people when it reaches full annual production of 40 to 50 aircraft by 2018.
A ceremony was held past Friday to celebrate the loading and launch of the “aircraft carrier”, in the presence of the U.S. Consul General in Hamburg, Nancy Corbett. The procured BBC Fuji is a 9,300dwt multipurpose and heavy lift vessel which features up to 700mt lifting capacity. BBC Chartering currently operates eight units of this type and a total fleet of about 150 vessels.