Airbus photo points to new A320 factory in Alabama

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New evidence shows Airbus is likely to open a new final assembly line building A320neos on US soil on 2 July.

The announcement reportedly scheduled for 10:00, local time, at the Mobile Convention Center could reveal plans for a factory designed to lower the airframer's production costs, reduce its exposure to European currency risk and unleash a new political front on Boeing's home-turf.

Airbus' plans were further tipped by local news reports showing a photo of blueprints for a factory featuring at least three assembly positions, a seven-bay delivery centre and paintshops.

It would become part of an expanded presence for Airbus at the Brookley Aeroplex on Mobile Bay, where the company already houses an engineering centre.

For nearly a decade, Airbus has been courted by city, state and regional officials to locate a factory at the Brookley site.

The airframer had agreed to build A330-200s for conversion to US Air Force tankers in Mobile, but dropped the plans after losing the contract in a protracted battle with Boeing.

Airbus already operates three final assembly lines for the A320 family in China, France and Germany.

Opening a fourth line would allow Airbus to increase overall monthly output, or scale back output at other final assembly lines.

In anticipation of their competitors' announcement, Boeing issued a statement that questions the actual employment benefit of having Airbus building aircraft on US soil.

"No matter how many [jobs] are created, the numbers pale in comparison to the thousands of US jobs destroyed by illegal subsidies," Boeing says.

Airbus and Boeing have waged a lengthy legal war in a trade dispute filed with the World Trade Organisation that continues on appeal. The WTO has found that both Airbus and Boeing have benefited from illegal subsidies, but Airbus has received more direct benefits from European governments.