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Airbus says US factory is several weeks behind schedule

[MOBILE, Ala] Airbus Group said on Monday that production of its first US-built jetliner is several weeks behind schedule due to tooling problems, but that the company expects to deliver the plane on time to customer JetBlue Airways Corp in the second quarter of 2016.

"If we look at the original master program, we're a little bit behind schedule in certain parts of the project, but none of that is going to affect the actual delivery," Barry Eccleston, President of Airbus Americas Inc, told Reuters. "We still think we'll make the delivery on the original schedule."

Workers at the factory told Reuters that the program was eight weeks behind in some stations due to problems with tools.

Eccleston said the delay was "a few weeks. It's not eight weeks. It's actually a bit less than that but it depends on tool to tool."

Airbus expects to deliver the A321 aircraft to Jetblue in the second quarter of 2016. A second A321 for American Airlines Group is in production here for delivery in 2016. The A321 is the largest model in the Airbus A320 family and competes with Boeing Co's 737.