Airbus to announce Monday plans to build Alabama plant

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 29, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 29 at 7:47 PM

European plane maker Airbus will officially announced Monday plans to build its first American production plant in Alabama.

The invitations have already gone out from the Mobile, Alabama, Chamber of Commerce. They won't say who, but they do say an "exciting economic development announcement is coming."  When: This Monday at 10 a.m.

"We feel that if things continue to progress, that we're going to get some good results," Alabama Governor John Roberts said last month.
  
Airbus plans to build their A320 plane in Alabama. A drawing obtained by a Mobile TV station shows what Airbus will build in Mobile - a sprawling complex that could crank out eight airplanes a month.

The A320 is a widely-used plane flown by U.S. airlines, including Delta and US Airways. An Alabama plant would have Airbus building planes squarely in the territory of archrival Boeing. But does it matter if Airbus builds them in the U.S.?

"I think this is a big threat," said Scott Hamilton with Leeham and Co. Hamilton was in France just recently. "They'll have delivery slots available. They'll be able to take market share away from Boeing. And there isn't a think Boeing can do about it."
          
In a world where demand for new airplanes has never been higher, a new plant would not only give Airbus more capacity, it would also allow it to use the "Made in USA" label helping it win defense contracts, after losing that big tanker deal to Boeing.

An Airbus spokesperson said the company has nothing to announce at this time.

Boeing took a swipe at the impending announcement, saying that decades of European government subsidies to Airbus have cost far more American jobs than the new plant will create.

 

KING 5's Glenn Farley contributed to this report.

 

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