Northern Ireland

Thompson Aero Seating secures new jobs as part of £10m investment

A Portadown-based manufacturing company is creating 85 new jobs.

Thompson Aero Seating designs and manufactures business class seats for commercial airlines.

It said 52 of the new jobs had already been filled. The company said the enhanced workforce would help boost its production capacity in order to meet the growing demand for the company's business class seating.

Invest NI is contributing £1.7m towards the £10m investment.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the announcement.

"Thompson Aero Seating has positioned itself as a credible own-brand provider of high quality business class aircraft seats and this expansion signals its continued commitment to growth in the global aerospace industry," she said.

"The 85 new jobs being created at the company will generate £3.5m annually in salaries for the local economy and ensure Thompson Aero Seating can continue to meet tight airline delivery schedules.

"Northern Ireland's aerospace sector has an international reputation for quality and innovation which, with support from Invest NI, is growing year on year. Thompson Aero Seating's investment will not only enhance this position, but contribute to the rebalancing of the local economy by driving export growth and increasing employment."

Gary Montgomery, chief executive officer at Thompson Aero Seating Ltd, said the company had "witnessed tremendous growth and success" in recent years.

"The support offered by Invest NI has been instrumental to our business' development," he said.

"With air traffic expected to double in the next 15 years our latest expansion supported by Invest NI will help us capitalise on this potential business.

"Our target is to grow sales of our patented seating concepts by over £40m in the next two years and with an already very strong order book confirmed, we are well positioned to achieve this objective."

Thompson Aero Seating Ltd has three sites in the Portadown area and currently employs 137 staff.