Airbus to invest $300M, create 400 jobs in new Alabama plant

Airbus to invest $300M, create 400 jobs in new Alabama plant
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Airbus announced on Wednesday that it will create 400 jobs at a new factory to produce its A220 aircraft in Mobile, Ala.

The European plane manufacturer announced the plans at a groundbreaking ceremony for the $300 million factory, which will neighbor an existing site that builds its A320 passenger jet and employs 700 people, according to Reuters

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“We’re not competing with the U.S. We’re competing in the U.S.,” Airbus Chairman Jeffrey Knittel said.

“The United States is one of the largest markets for us and this is our largest industrial base in the U.S. We have the skills and employees and it is the logical thing to do.”

Airlines have already ordered about 500 of the A220 aircraft, the company said. Airbus intends to build four planes per month at the new factory, with the goal of delivering them in 2020. The company said Alabama would provide an unspecified amount of state funding to support the plant’s construction. 

“[T]he A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years,” the company said. 

The adjacent site currently produces 54 A320 aircraft per year, though that number could rise by the end of 2019, according to Reuters.

Airbus has other sites in Kansas, Virginia, California, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi and Florida.