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Airbus creates 650 new Welsh jobs

Boost for Flintshire wing plant

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European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced it will create 650 new jobs as part of an expansion of its wing-manufacturing plant in north Wales, the BBC reports.

The factory at Broughton in Flintshire already employs over 6,000 people in the construction of wings for the Airbus A350 and A380 "superjumbo". It is Wales' largest manuafcturing facility.

Airbus is currently on a roll, and last week boasted it had a 2,000 aircraft order backlog. It last year upped deliveries by 18 per cent to 378 aircraft.

As well as the new jobs, Airbus's Broughton factory will also enjoy a £5.2m Welsh Assembly government to "help boost production".

An enthusiastic Flintshire council chief regeneration officer, Dave Heggarty, described the announcement as "wonderful news", adding: "The company now employs well over 7,000 people on the site and around north Wales there are around 12,000 people employed by companies that supply Airbus. The wage bill in Broughton alone is around £6m a week.

"Employing people in an industry like aerospace manufacture is extremely expensive - training costs are particularly high. The 650 recruited will go through a lengthy programme and the grant will assist with that training."

The A350 is due to hit the skies in 2010. The A380 had its maiden flight back in April last year and is due into service with Singapore Airlines at the end of 2006. ®

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