...his first move, expected to be announced by the end of February, will be to shift manufacture of all large aircraft to its Toulouse headquarters, with smaller 'narrow body' jet production being consolidated at Hamburg, Germany.
'There is an argument raging between the company and the German government about this,' said one source.
The state government of Hamburg has supported the A380, and is one of a number of German states which want to invest in Airbus, buying a 7.5 per cent stake in the company being sold by current shareholder Daimler Chrysler.
However, insiders indicate that making the change will eliminate duplication of both narrow and wide-body production facilities at the two plants and generate significant one-off savings.
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