Mobile, Ala. celebrates Airbus announcement

MOBILE, AL (WTVM) - Monday was a historic and profitable day for Alabama.

Confetti and streamers flew at the Mobile Convention Center as Airbus, the European jet manufacturer, selected Mobile for its North American operation.

Airbus, the French company and chief competitor to American aviation giant Boeing announced it will invest millions of dollars and create a thousand new jobs.

The Mobile plant at Brookely Aeroplex will be fully functional by 2016, rolling out about 40 jets each year.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is already thrilled with the product, the A320 and A320 NEO.

"We'll sell these aircraft all over the world because we want them all produced right here in Mobile, Alabama," Gov. Bentley said.

Airbus' A320 jetliner is the chief competitor of Boeing's 737-800 aircraft.

State officials also confirmed the state offered $158 million in incentives to lure Airbus, which helped for a smooth landing.

"We selected a competitive environment," said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO. "We are businessmen so we don't go to the worst place."

Airbus officials said Mobile was in fact the best place to make an impact in the United States.

"Proximity to a very, very large market, and an international footprint for the company," said Christian Scherer, Airbus Vice President.

Mobile beat out 70 other sites in 32 states for the $600 million project.

Hiring at the plant is expected to start some time after construction begins in early 2013.

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