Airbus is set to announce an A350 XWB supplier deal with US aerostructures firm Spirit AeroSystems, which will manufacture a fuselage section for the new twinjet.
Last month A350 programme chief Didier Evrard identified the carbonfibre upper part of the centre fuselage, Section 15, as a major A350 XWB airframe work package that is yet to be allocated. At the time he identified Wichita-headquartered Spirit AeroSystems as a potential international supplier for the work.
The US manufacturer is now said to have been selected by Airbus for this work, according to French business daily Le Figaro. It adds that this section has been traditionally manufactured in Europe.
Speaking during Airbus’ annual technical press briefing in Toulouse, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said: “This afternoon we will announce a new aerostructures partnership. I would like to say who it is, but I have to respect the announcement schedule.”
An Airbus source familiar with the situation confirms that Spirit is the partner which Enders was referring to.
Airbus previously shortlisted Spirit as a potential investor for some of the plants it is divesting, but the US firm was not selected for final negotiations.
The site divestment plan has since hit turbulence with the breakdown of talks with Airbus’ preferred bidders in both France and Germany.
Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news
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