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WASHINGTON: European aircraft maker Airbus said yesterday that it plans to double its annual spending with US companies to some $24bn in the coming years and would seek new supplier partnerships in Southern California.
The announcement marked a new step in the US market, after Airbus announced in July plans to build its first aircraft assembly plant in the country in Mobile, Alabama, in home-turf competition with US rival Boeing.
Backed by a strong global order backlog of more than 4,400 aircraft and growing future demand, “Airbus plans to double its current $12 billion annual spending with US manufacturers in the coming years,” the company said.
Airbus said it currently spends more than $1bn in the Southern California region, and that last year’s spending went to more than 400 manufacturers and service suppliers in more than 40 US states. The European aircraft manufacturer, based in Toulouse, France, highlighted that its US spending was equal to supporting 210,000 American jobs, calculated by a US Commerce Department formula.
“Hundreds of American companies, with hundreds of thousands of jobs, are supported through Airbus’s partnership with the US, and with our commitment to expand, we believe those numbers will increase in the coming years,” said Airbus Americas chairman Allan McArtor.
“This effort by Airbus to increase partnerships with local manufacturers is a win for local manufacturers, a win for job seekers and a win for the aerospace industry,” said Gary Toebben, head of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
In July, Airbus announced a new $600m assembly plant, to be built in the southern port city of Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico, to produce its popular A320 passenger planes. Airbus estimates more than 4,000 new single-aisle aircraft will be needed in the United States over the next 20 years and that the new US plant could more than double its current roughly 20 percent share of the huge US aircraft market. AFP