Airbus will establish a manufacturing facility in the U.S. to assemble and deliver A320 Family aircraft, the company said today. Located at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Ala., it will be the company's first U.S.-based production facility.
Airbus stressed that the assembly line, which will create jobs and strengthen the aerospace industry, is part of its strategy to enhance Airbus' global competitiveness by meeting the growing needs of its customers in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The facility in Alabama will assemble the family of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. The company said construction of the assembly line will begin in summer 2013. Aircraft assembly is planned to start in 2015, with first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016.
Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.
"The time is right for Airbus to expand in America," said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus president and CEO at the announcement today in Mobile.
"The U.S. is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world -- with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years -- and this assembly line brings us closer to our customers," Bregier continued. "This facility creates new manufacturing jobs and further enhances the partnership between Airbus, its suppliers and their employees -- a very large percentage of which are located here in the United States."
"When Airbus aircraft take to the skies, our pride and workmanship will soar along with them," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said. "We owe thanks to so many people who helped make this effort a success. This project will create 1,000 stable, well-paying jobs that the people of this area need and deserve."
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said: "Mobile has long been a hub for world-class shipbuilding and it will now become a critical node for the U.S. aerospace industry as well. The effects of this decision will reverberate far beyond Alabama, however, as the entire country will benefit from having both global commercial aircraft manufacturers building planes on U.S. soil."
"The announcement of a new Airbus manufacturing plant in Mobile is wonderful news for our community, for our state, and for America," said U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions. "The plant, along with construction work and other related activities, will ultimately create several thousand jobs and inject millions of dollars into the local economy."
Airbus already has a strong and growing presence in Alabama and throughout the U.S. In Alabama, the company operates an Engineering Center in Mobile -- also located at Brookley Aeroplex and employing more than 200 engineers and support staff -- as well as an Airbus Military customer services operation supporting U.S. Coast Guard aircraft. In addition, Airbus operates an Engineering Center in Wichita, Kan.; an aircraft Spares Center in Ashburn, Va.; a Training Center in Miami; and a regulatory and government liaison office in Washington, D.C.
All together, Airbus' U.S. facilities currently employ more than 1,000 people.
The company said that the new Mobile assembly line, together with associated functions, should create as many as 1,000 new high-skilled jobs.
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