According to CEO Tom Enders, the company was ‘already in a steep first year to increase its sourcing’ – which may not be grammatical but the meaning is clear – with plans to ‘triple it’ in two years and double it again ‘three, four or five years later’.
Enders also explained that Airbus maintained 95% of its workforce in Europe and noted unions and politicians ‘wanted to keep it that way’.Â But he emphasised that the company couldn’t ‘keep it all [the workforce] in Europe or the US’.
Airbus recently began shipping segments for assembly at the Tianjin plant – its first assembly line outside Europe. The assembly factory is reportedly a $600 million venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium composed of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and China Aviation Industry.
The company is also awaiting government approval of a 280-aircraft order with Chinese airlines that includes A320, A330 and A350 models. Airbus, which estimates that China may require 3,000 planes over the next 20 years, plans to rapidly increase its presence in Morocco, Mexico, India and Russia.