Ryanair, Europeå‘s largest low fares airline is expanding its operations at Glasgow Prestwick International Airport with the opening of a new aircraft overhaul and maintenance facility creating up to 180 new jobs.
The £10m. facility will be large enough to take two Boeing 737-800 series aircraft and will help deal with the maintenance needs of the company’s growing fleet of aircraft. Ryanair is planning to more than triple the number of aircraft over the next eight years with 150 new planes on order from Boeing. The new jobs will be a mixture of engineering, professional and administration.
Announcing the base today at Glasgow Prestwick, Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O Leary said;
“This is a particularly exciting day for Ryanair and for Glasgow Prestwick Airport. With 150 new aircraft on order, Ryanair over the next 8 years will grow to one of the largest aircraft fleets in Europe. Accordingly we are investing heavily in support services including our new simulator training base at Nottingham, our engine maintenance contract with Lufthansa in Dublin, and now a large base maintenance facility here in Glasgow Prestwick.
“Glasgow Prestwick has a long and proud tradition in the aerospace industry, having for many years been the home of British Airways Aerospace Jetstream Manufacturing. Ryanair and Glasgow Prestwick Airport are proud to be continuing in this tradition, and we look forward to creating up to 180 new, well paid engineering jobs in this brand new high tech facility. This will enable Ryanair to continue to maintain our outstanding 18 year safety record, and build on our well established reputation for engineering excellence”
Tom Wilson, Managing Director of Glasgow Prestwick International Airport said:
“I’m delighted that Ryanair have chosen to base their aircraft maintenance facility at Glasgow Prestwick. We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with the airline over more than 8 years and this investment is another significant milestone in our relationship.”
Secretary of State for Scotland, Helen Liddell said:
“Today`s decision by Ryanair is good news for the Scottish economy and the aviation industry, and underlines the particular strengths of Ayrshire`s aerospace related industries. The effort to bring this project to Scotland has been a true reflection of the partnership approach which exists in Scotland and I am delighted to have played my part. The relationship between Ryanair and Scotland is strong and growing. I hope it will continue to flourish and that other benefits, such as more direct flights, might also grow out of it.”
The decision by Europe’s largest low fares airline was welcomed by Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Iain Gray.
“I am delighted to welcome today’s announcement that Ryanair is to locate its Aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at Glasgow Prestwick International Airport. This will create 180 new high quality jobs in Ayrshire and is a testament to the skills of the local workforce.
“The new facility builds upon Ryanair’s already impressive presence in Scotland and strengthens further the company’s links with Glasgow Prestwick International airport. It is certainly my hope that the company will continue to view Scotland as an ideal location and that this announcement will be followed by others. I congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to Scotland, and wish everyone at Ryanair and Prestwick every success for the future”.
Almost 2 million people a year travel on Ryanair’s low fare routes from Glasgow Prestwick and their decision to expand there increases the importance of Scotland within the companies growing network of locations.
Ryanair received £2 million of Regional Selective Assistance through Scottish Development International to help bring this facility to Prestwick. The airline has also signed up for a comprehensive training package put together by Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire to help local people take advantage of the opportunities this expansion will bring.
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport was chosen against stiff competition from three other European locations.
The new facility is planned to open in 2004.