Airbus is outsourcing to Korean Aerospace Industries some work from its wing-assembly plant in Broughton, north Wales, drawing fire from unions who said the move gave an unnecessary competitive advantage to foreign rivals.

Airbus, the aircraft-making arm of Europe's EADS, said on Tuesday KAI had been awarded work producing wing panels for the single-aisle A320.

Final assembly will remain at Broughton, which is responsible for assembling the wings for all Airbus civil aircraft, and the company said the 200 staff impacted by the decision would be redeployed within the plant.

The Welsh site also makes wings for the A380 superjumbo, some of which have been found to be suffering from cracks.

Airbus said last week engineers had found minor cracks in the wings of a limited number of A380s but that their safe operation was not affected and that an inspection and repair procedure had been developed.

Qantas, one of the airlines affected, described the cracking as miniscule.

Unite trade union criticised Airbus's decision to move work overseas.

We have many UK companies that are ready, willing and able to carry out work for Airbus but who have missed out, Unite official Ian Waddell said in a statement. The UK is a world leader in wing production, but this contract weakens that position and gives our global competitors an unnecessary edge.

(Reporting by Paul Hoskins; Editing by David Holmes)