By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, September 15, Airbus had a formal ribbon cutting of its first North American assembly plant. Dignitaries from the corporate and government world were on hand to welcome Airbus to Alabama and usher in a new era of Mobile being a world leader in aerospace technology.
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said in a statement, “We had a wonderful event this morning to celebrate the official opening of the Airbus US Manufacturing Facility. I was honored to deliver the opening remarks and welcome all the international visitors to Mobile. My favorite part of the ceremony was getting to meet all of the new employees. Over 60 percent of the employees currently hired are from the Greater Mobile region, and I expect more people from our area to receive these high-paying jobs.”
US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said on Facebook, “The Airbus US Manufacturing Facility officially opened in Mobile today. This facility is the company’s first production site in the United States. Airbus’ decision to place this significant investment in Alabama proves that our State is great place for companies of all types and sizes to do business. I look forward to the jobs and economic growth that the new Airbus facility will bring to Alabama.”
US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) said, “The new complex represents a $600 million investment in Alabama, and further supports Alabama as a great location for aerospace and aviation companies”…..“I cannot be more thrilled. We are going to see more investment in jobs and suppliers coming into our region and it will continue the upward movement for our entire area.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said, “Today, we officially opened the new Airbus US Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. The highlight of today was meeting some of the newest employees hired to work at the facility. The workforce in Alabama is the best in the world, and these employees are committed to make Airbus successful in Alabama. The first Made in Alabama Airbus commercial aircraft – an A321 – is scheduled for delivery next spring.”
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said, “A GREAT day in Mobile as we celebrated the inauguration of the Airbus assembly plant at Brookley. We are building a new foundation in our city with a bright future for all.”
Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier told reporters, “Our first US facility has been years in the making. It is the most significant, game-changing incident in US aerospace in decades.”
According to original reporting by the Bloomberg News, Airbus is targeting Boeing’s market share in America. Currently the two airplane construction titans are even in market share globally; but Airbus only has 20 percent of the US market. That share will surge to 40 percent with planes already on order to the airlines. Airbus wants to pull even with Boeing in the US.
The $600 million assembly plant for single-aisle airplanes in Mobile is part of that strategy.
Gov. Bentley said, “We were honored when Airbus announced their plans to come to our State and show confidence in Alabama as a great location for aviation manufacturing. To Alabama, the new Airbus manufacturing facility means progress for our State and the promise of great things to come. The company’s investment in our State and in the local community will have a great impact for years to come. We are excited that soon the world’s best aircraft will be made by Alabamians in Sweet Home Alabama.”
Airbus announced plans to build in Mobile in 2012, and construction began at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley the following year. By 2018, the facility will produce between 40 and 50 single-aisle aircraft per year.