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European aircraft maker Airbus steps up spending in Southern California

November 17, 2009 |  4:39 pm


Airbus expects the A350 XWB to have its first flight in early 2012. Credit: Airbus

European aerospace giant Airbus announced at Los Angeles City Hall today that it awarded a $10-million contract to a Harbor City company to manufacture lipskins for its jet engines.

McStarlite Co. produces the donut-shaped skin that goes on the front of an airplane engine. The company has made sheet metal components for Airbus aircraft for about 20 years. With the latest contract, McStarlite will manufacture the lipskin for the upcoming Airbus A350 XWB.

As a result of the deal, McStarlite expects to add up to 40 new jobs, beginning in late 2010. The business currently employs about 120 people.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also took part in the announcement and thanked Airbus for its investment in California. From 2007 to 2008, Airbus said its spending in the state doubled to about $1 billion.

“Airbus has proven to be a strong business partner with more than 100 suppliers throughout California,” Villaraigosa said. “By doubling its direct economic investment, Airbus’ commitment to the region is commendable and helps ensure that the aerospace industry remains a strong economic engine here in Southern California where it began.”

-- W.J. Hennigan