The Airbus Toulouse factory is visited by scores of people every year. These people come to get a behind-the-scenes look at the airplane building process and are treated to fun tours. Airbus is based in the Toulouse suburb of Blagnac.
The Airbus consortium produces many of the world's jet airliners. Its main competitor is Boeing, which has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Both companies supply buyers with planes of varying sizes, and they largely define the airliner market overall. Therein lies much of the allure when it comes to Toulouse Airbus Factory tours.
The Airbus Toulouse factory is responsible for the final assembly of many Airbus models. In fact, it handles the final assembly of most of the company's aircraft. Other final assembly production plants are found in Hamburg, Germany; and Seville, Spain, among a couple of other destinations. During an Airbus factory tour in Toulouse, one of the main highlights is seeing the final assembly line that is used for the A380 models. The Airbus A380 is actually the biggest airplane in the world, so you can imagine how big the assembly line must be. The Toulouse Airbus tours feature an informative session that largely covers the A380 program, so visitors can learn all about the hefty fliers.
Seeing actual planes is the main highlight of an Airbus factory tour. The final assembly process sees all the major sections coming together, and visitors to the Toulouse site can witness the process from a special viewing platform. It can actually take a few years to build a plane from start to finish, so seeing the final products coming together is quite a special privilege.
Anyone who wishes to add an Airbus factory tour to their list of things to do in Toulouse should book as far in advance as possible. The company that offers them gets a lot of requests and actually prefers that tour requests be submitted at least 45 days before the day of the tour in question. There are different tour options. One tour is designed for students and school groups and includes a bus trip around the adjacent Toulouse Airport. Some tours are in English for those who aren't proficient in French. Average tour time is around an hour and a half, and visitors can pick up some keepsakes at a souvenir shop.
Anyone who is thinking of treating themselves to an Airbus Toulouse tour might also keep City of Space (Cité de l'Espace) in mind. This wonderful complex offers fantastic insight into space exploration, and visiting it can make for an ideal complement to an Airbus factory tour for famlies with children. Many tourists do both on the same day. This attraction is accessible via local buses.