In June 2011, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley traveled to the Paris Air Show, Europe’s largest aerospace industry gathering, in hopes of luring foreign investment to his state.
Of the dozen meetings he lined up, the most important was with Tom Enders, then chief executive officer of the giant European aircraft maker Airbus SAS. The two had never met, though they were familiar with each other.
… In Paris, Enders told the Republican governor that he was still eager to build Airbus’s first U.S. factory, possibly in Alabama, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its April 22 issue. So began a secret, yearlong negotiation that culminated in this month’s groundbreaking for Airbus’s Brookley Aeroplex plant, which will assemble the company’s best-selling jetliner, the A320.