PARIS, July 2 (Reuters) - Airbus hopes to increase its share of the U.S. market for key narrowbody jets by “more than a few percentage points” thanks to a new assembly line in Alabama, its sales chief said on Monday.
Airbus has 20 percent of the world’s largest market for jets like the A320 and Boeing’s 737, the backbone of most airline fleets, compared with a global market share of 53 percent.
Airbus sales chief John Leahy also told Reuters in an interview the planned U.S. production of four aircraft a month would not be added to a targeted total production rate for single-aisle jets, which currently stands at 42 planes a month.
However he expected demand for revamped single-aisle models, such as the A320neo to be produced in Mobile from 2016, would eventually push output for the fuel-saving jets over 50 a month.
Leahy said the overall cost of assembling at the U.S. plant would be the same as in Europe, but that Airbus would benefit from reduced exposure to swings in the value of the dollar.