Airbus has opened a new manufacturing plant at Broughton, Flintshire, Wales as it gears up for production of the new A350 – its answer to the Boeing Dreamliner.
The £400 million facility will produce carbon-fibre wings for the new aircraft, which is due to enter service in 2013.
Up to 6,000 workers are already at work at the location in Broughton, with 650 joining the new North Factory which opens today.
More than 550 orders for the A350 have already been recorded.
Airbus – the aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of European aerospace company EADS - has invested £29 million in composite wing training and advanced manufacturing at Broughton.
Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones said: “This is a fantastic day for both Airbus and Wales.
“The wings being made here showcase us at our best - a world class company based here in Wales making a product that will be used across the globe.”