AEROSPACE giant Airbus is to create 770 permanent jobs at its Broughton factory.

The news follows the announcement of record orders for the company, including 180 A320s, the wings of which are made at the factory.

An Airbus spokesman confirmed that 770 Blue Arrow agency workers will be given full-time contracts in a phased programme starting in March.

The staff are already on full-time contracts with Blue Arrow. The positions will see an increase in Airbus staff but the number of people working at the site will remain the same.

Pete Hughes, Unite union officer, said: “Unite is pleased to have reached an arrangement with Airbus, which will see 770 Blue Arrow workers offered permanent Airbus employment. We hope the new labour agreement will ultimately result in more permanent Airbus jobs in future.”

The plane-maker currently employs nearly 6,000 people at Broughton but no announcement has been made on future job creation.

The company has also increased orders for the A380 superjumbo.

Carl Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, described the job news as “fantastic”, adding: “Airbus is an important employer for the area.”

And David Hanson, MP for Delyn, welcomed the news amid an increase in unemployment in the region.

He said: “I am delighted Airbus has had such a strong start to the year.

“It is a world leader in the manufacture of aeroplane wings and this news just emphasises how valuable its highly skilled workforce is.”

But he added: “Elsewhere in Flintshire and across the UK there are real concerns as figures show that UK unemployment has risen by 49,000 to almost 2.5 million.”