Mobile, Alabama - Airbus has recently opened a $600 million assembly plant at the company's 116-acre facility, south of Central Mobile, Alabama.
Inside a massive 210,000 square-foot hangar, where commercial aircraft will be built, the inauguration ceremony served notice of the company’s intention to compete at the highest level and bolster its presence in the United States.
"Today marks a significant increase in our role and commitment to the U.S.," Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said.
Airbus Group Chairman and CEO Tom Enders agreed, "Many thought it was too risky to sell in the U.S., much less even consider manufacturing here. Some thought we were overstepping our bounds."
By the end of 2017 Airbus is expected to be making four A320 aircraft a month in Mobile and to add a further 1,000 employees in the coming years. The first plane is due off the assembly like in the second quarter of 2016 for delivery to Jet Blue Airways.
Airbus' entry into Mobile is supported by some $158million in tax incentive. An economic analysis prepared for the Alabama Department of Commerce, which oversees the incentives, pegs Airbus' additional gross domestic product to the state at $409 million.
"We'll see more investments in jobs and suppliers into our region," U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, said. "It will continue an upward movement for our entire area."
The Mobile facility has 260 currently employed, 89 percent of which are from Alabama. An additional 75 people are being trained overseas.
"We are dedicated to quality and we take pride in what we can accomplish," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said. "The Alabama workforce is strong."