Foster announces £5.2million investment by Thompson Aero Seating

Jun 28, 2010

Copyright Michael Cooper

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today with James Thompson, Vice President and Sam Rusk (right), Executive Chairman, Thompson Aero Seating, based in Kilkeel.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced a £5.2million investment by Thompson Aero Seating, which will create 49 highly skilled jobs.

Kilkeel-based Thompson Aero Seating Ltd develops revolutionary aircraft seating designs for major airlines.

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

Congratulating the company on its achievements to date, 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 $34million 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.”

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