North East Wales

Airbus: David Cameron in Flintshire for A320 jobs deal

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Media captionDavid Cameron welcomes the deal safeguarding 9,000 jobs

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed a major deal safeguarding 9,000 jobs announced at the Flintshire plant of plane-maker Airbus.

On a visit to Broughton, Mr Cameron said the deal was "excellent news and a tremendous boost" for UK manufacturing.

The company says a $9bn (£5.5bn) order for 100 A320 planes from AirAsia will safeguard 1,500 Airbus jobs in the UK and 7,500 in its supply chain.

The wings for its A320 series are made at the Flintshire factory.

AirAsias's order is for 64 of the A320neo (new engine option) and 36 of the A320ceo (current engine option) aircraft.

Mr Cameron said: "Today's announcement demonstrates the strength of the UK aerospace sector and the important role it plays it growing and rebalancing our economy".

"This government will continue to back UK aerospace, cutting business taxes, investing in exports and working in partnership with the industry to ensure it is fully equipped to compete and thrive in the global race."

Last year, Mr Cameron paid tribute to Airbus workers, as he officially opened a new wings factory at Broughton.

At the time he said the opening of the £400m North Factory underlined the confidence of Airbus in the company's British workforce.

In April, during a visit to Indonesia, he announced a £326m deal to sell 11 Airbus A330 aircraft to airline Garuda Indonesia.

'Huge boost'

Mr Cameron toured the wing assembly plant on Thursday with AirAsia group chief executive officer, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes.

Dr Fernandes said: "The A320 has played a key role in our success, enabling us to offer our passengers the lowest fares possible and completely redefine short-haul travel in Asia."

Tom Williams, senior UK representative of Airbus, said: "This order comes as a huge boost for the teams in Broughton and we are delighted to welcome the prime minister and the chief executive of AirAsia to the plant to see the skills and expertise of the team in action today."

Welsh Secretary David Jones, called the investment "testament to the trust" AirAsia places in "the talent and innovative capabilities of Airbus' workforce, and the site in Broughton plays an integral part in its global success".

First Minister Carwyn Jones also welcomed the "excellent news" as "another important boost" for the Broughton plant, "an acknowledged centre of manufacturing excellence and a key employment site in Wales".

News of the announcement comes a day after latest figures show unemployment in Wales has fallen by 15,000 to 117,000.

It follows the trend across the rest of the UK, where the jobless total fell by 82,000 in the three months to October.

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