Airbus confirmed the construction of its first assembly plant in the US, a crucial step in its competition with Boeing.
The plant will be built in Alabama, will cost around $600 million and will employ 1,000 people. The company expects to produce 4 planes monthly by 2017.
“We are going to create great jobs and generate growth right here,” Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said. “We know in aerospace, when we create one job, there are about four related jobs so we could bring as many as 5,000,” Bregier said at a later news conference. “The management to the blue collars will be 100 percent American.”
Boeing has already made a name in Alabama with 2,700 employees in defense and rocket operations. Initially Airbus planed to manufacture refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force in Alabama, but in 2011 the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., its parent company, lost the contract to Boeing.
The plant will be jointly run by French and German management and Airbus plans to expand in several European countries, as well as in China, India and the US. Airbus will manufacture at this plant the 150-seat A320 plane, which is widely used by the US Airways, Delta Air Lines and others.