28/06/2010

High Flyers Win Major Cash Boost

A Co Down firm that develops revolutionary aircraft seating designs for major airlines has really taken-off today with news of a £5.2m fillip.

Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced that the move, at Thompson Aero Seating in Kilkeel, will create 49 highly skilled jobs.

Their latest patented seating concepts have already secured USD $2.4m (GBP £1.6m) in engineering contracts from a number of world airlines and have the potential to generate at least a further USD $34m (£23m) in sales outside Northern Ireland.

Invest NI has offered £875,000 of support for the investment, which will enable Thompson Aero Seating to commercialise their new innovative seating concepts for export markets.

This support will also help Thompson Aero to increase staffing levels to manage product modification for individual customer orders, and establish a product assembly operation to meet forecast demand for small to medium sized production runs.
News Image
Shown here with James Thompson, Vice President and Sam Rusk (right), Executive Chairman, Thompson Aero Seating, the Minister said: "This is a significant investment from Thompson Aero Seating.

"The products designed are highly innovative and have the potential to revolutionise the global civil aircraft seating market, generating over USD $34m in export sales.

"By commercialising the seating, which also benefits from having a design protected by patent, the company will not just enhance its market position and create employment, but bolster the credibility and reputation of Northern Ireland's aerospace sector as a whole."

James Thompson of Thompson Aero Seating, commented: "We have worked hard to research and develop a new level of passenger comfort and design in aircraft seating, and this investment will enhance our production capability and ensure that we not only attract and secure orders from the world’s major airlines, but can fulfil them much faster."

(BMcC/GK)

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