A picture taken on January 19, 2012 shows employees working on the assembly line of Airbus A330 at the Airbus plant in Colomiers, southwestern France. (PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images)
MOBILE, Ala. -- European plane maker Airbus intends to build its first U.S. plant in Mobile, Ala., a person with knowledge of its plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Airbus will assemble its A320 jet there, according to the person, who requested anonymity because a public announcement has not been made. That's a widely-used plane flown by U.S. airlines, including Delta and US Airways.
An Alabama plant would enable Airbus to produce planes squarely in the territory of archrival Boeing. It would likely mean lower production costs compared with Airbus' others A320 lines in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany. The company also makes A320s in China.
The plan was first reported by The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, who said that an announcement could come as soon as Monday.
Airbus already has a facility in Mobile that designs and installs interior items such as seats and cabin equipment for Airbus' big planes, the A330, the superjumbo A380, and its planned A350.
Airbus has said it wants to expand, and that it favors a site in the southern U.S.
"We have made no secret of our hopes to expand our global footprint, including in the U.S. as we have a very strong market here," said Airbus spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn, who added that no decision has been made by the company's board.