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Airbus May Buy French Panel Factory From Spirit

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Airbus is studying whether to buy a factory in France owned by US supplier Spirit that assembles panels for its future long-range A350 aircraft, a French union representative said.

Ownership would allow Airbus to boost the plant's performance which has been regarded as unsatisfactory, said Francoise Vallin, who represents Airbus workers for the CFE-CGC union.

"This site is struggling to produce in time what is being asked of it... Control must be acquired," said Vallin, who meets regularly with Airbus management to discuss working conditions and other matters.

Airbus declined to comment on the possible purchase of the Saint-Nazaire site, which assembles fuselage panels for the central section of the A350 and employs 90 staff.

The A350 is expected to make its maiden flight this summer and enter service in the second half of 2014.

(Reuters)

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