Bombardier, Airbus Outsourcing Parts, Aircraft Manufacture

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Bombardier will invest $250 million and create 1,100 jobs in Mexico to build parts for its all-composite Learjet 85, and Airbus is preparing to ship airframe components to China for assembly of its first Chinese-built A320. The moves are not unique, they're just recent -- Boeing has been struggling with outsourcing complications attached to its 787 Dreamliner development for some time. Montreal-based Bombardier's investment in Mexico is an addition to a previously announced plan to invest $200 million in the country by 2012. The company has been producing parts in Mexico for its all-composite business jet since 2006. Bombardier hopes to put the Learjet 85 in service by 2012. For Airbus, the Tianjin assembly line in China should receive major components including a fuselage, wing and empennage soon after June 24 with assembly scheduled to begin on August 18. The logistics of shipping the parts involves barges, ships and road travel and ends at the Chinese final assembly line, which Airbus officials say is a carbon copy of their plant in Hamburg and should be able to produce both A320 and A319 aircraft.

First delivery of a Chinese-built Airbus is expected in June of 2009 to Sichuan Airlines. After successful qualification of the new line, Airbus plans to put out 40 A320s per month with four produced at Tianjin.