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Multiple sources confirm Airbus announcement scheduled for Monday

Staff Report

MOBILE, Alabama — Airbus will announce Monday in Mobile its plan to build A320 aircraft at the city’s Brookley Aeroplex, opening a new era of jet production in Alabama and giving the European company its first production site on U.S. soil.

Multiple company, state and local officials confirmed that an agreement was in place to bring Airbus to Mobile, and that company president Fabrice Bregier was scheduled to announce the project at a 10 a.m. news conference at the Mobile Convention Center.

Details of the assembly plant — including the construction timeline, projected employment and capital investment — remained confidential. But a company source with direct knowledge of the project said it would produce the A320neo (the acronym stands for “new engine option”), a single-aisle jet designed to replace its best-selling A320 narrowbody.

A state official who participated in the negotiations said plans call for an initial work force of about 1,000 and that the company would spend several hundred million dollars to construct the plant. Alabama will contribute more than $100 million in tax breaks and other incentives, the official said.

Clay McConnell, a spokesman for Airbus Americas, said today that the company “has nothing to announce at this time.” He said Airbus has long had an interest in expanding in the U.S., and that Mobile was its preferred site for any potential investment.

“A number of conditions would need to be met to expand our industrial footprint in the U.S., and as of right now those conditions have not been met,” McConnell said.

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State and local officials were tight-lipped about the project, with several saying they had signed agreements with the company not to disclose any information. Others said they received phone calls from the company today inviting them to participate in the announcement and a subsequent news conference.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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