05/02/2008

Airline Deal For Kilkeel High Flyers

A Co. Down company has signed a multi-million pound deal with a US airline to manufacture airplane seats in a move that could result in at least 100 new jobs for the Irish firm.

The deal will see Kilkeel-based Thompson Solutions provide fully reclining seats for US giant Delta Airlines.

The airline is fitting the seats into its fleet of 85 Boeing 767 aircraft.

Thompson Solutions specialise in the design of aircraft seating, and the deal could see a rapid expansion to their workforce.

"At the moment we employ about 40 people,” said founder James Thompson. “If all these deals go through, as I expect they will, then we will have to recruit another 100 to 150 people over the next couple of years.

“That will mean a move to new premises four or five times the size of our current factory."

Further contracts could be secured, as European carriers are also said to be interested in the design.

Mr Thompson added that the manufacturing would probably have to be done elsewhere, but that the design and engineering work would continue to be carried out in Kilkeel.

(NS)


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