Airbus Will Build Alabama Plant

Strategy is aimed at cutting production costs.

Airbus A320
Airbus A320
** A JetBlue Airbus A320 landed in Mobile in
celebration of Airbus's Alabama plant
announcement.**

European aerospace giant Airbus will build its first U.S. factory in a move aimed at making the company more competitive against archrival Boeing.

The new plant in Mobile, Alabama – due to open in 2015 – will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production capacity. Airbus said it hopes the factory will lower costs and also improve its chances of winning U.S. military contracts.

Airbus will build A320 single-aisle airliners at the $600 million plant. North America is the biggest single market for the A320, which competes with Boeing's 737. Current A320 customers in the U.S. include US Airways and Frontier Airlines. American Airlines ordered 260 A320s last year. Based in Toulouse, France, Airbus builds around 400 A320s a year.