Published On: Mon, Jul 2nd, 2012

Airbus reveals plans to open US plant for Mobile Alabama

Airbus’s planned aircraft assembly plant in Alabama will cost $600 million to build and will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production, officials said Sunday ahead of an official announcement.

Lufthansa Airbus A330-300 at Frankfurt Airport 2010 Photo/Lasse Fuss via wikimedia commons

Two state officials with knowledge of the company’s plans said the plant in Alabama’s port city of Mobile should create about 2,500 construction jobs, and it will turn out about four planes a month in 2017. The officials spoke to The Associated Press condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the plant ahead of Monday’s announcement.

Reuters adds that this decision is a reversal of fortune for Alabama’s oldest city and its only port, coming only 16 months after Airbus lost a bitterly fought $35 billion contest against Boeing to build U.S. Air Force tankers that would have been put together in Mobile, and almost seven years after the city was among the places ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

“It is a long-term strategic move, and anything that allows Airbus to make planes cheaper means they sell them cheaper … putting more pressure on Boeing,” said Alex Hamilton, managing director with EarlyBirdCapital, a boutique investment bank.

The sensitivity of the deal in both the U.S. and Europe is reflected in the way it came together.

For the best part of nine months, Airbus and state officials were sworn to secrecy and had meetings in locations away from Mobile, such as in New Orleans, to pore over a blueprint known, according to the local newspaper, the Press-Register, as “The Project”.

Inside the aerospace firm, the project had another code name: it was not exactly cryptic but it included a pun on the acronym for Final Assembly Line and so it stuck: Falabama.

The confidentiality of the discussions was almost blown apart, though, when Alabama Governor Robert Bentley told local Mobile TV station WPMI-TV four months ago that Alabama was in constant touch with Airbus about building a plant.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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