A new £8 million maintenance hangar at Prestwick Airport that will lead to 200 new jobs has been opened by First Minister Alex Salmond and Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary.
The creation of a second maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at the airport was made possible through a £1.5 million Scottish Government regional support package and training grants through Scottish Enterprise.
The new project builds on the airline’s existing facility which opened in 2004. Over 400 engineering and support jobs will be sustained at the two facilities which will maintain a large proportion of Ryanair’s fleet of 260 aircraft.
Welcoming the investment First Minister Alex Salmond expressed delight at Ryanair’s decision to base the facility in Scotland and praised the skills of the local workforce.
Mr Salmond said: “I am delighted that Ryanair is strengthening its operations in Scotland. This impressive new hangar will create 200 new jobs in Ayrshire and is delivering £8 million of investment into the Scottish economy.
“Despite competition for a number of European locations, Ryanair chose to create a second hangar in Ayrshire and this is testament to the skills and quality of the local workforce.
“The airline’s commitment to expand its operations in Ayrshire builds on Prestwick’s reputation as a centre for European excellence in maintenance, repair and overhaul projects.
“Ryanair make a substantial contribution to Scotland’s economy through its engineering facilities and also through flights to and from Glasgow Prestwick, Aberdeen and Edinburgh airports. I wish Ryanair every success in the future with this significant new project.”
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary thanked the First Minister and highlighted the company’s partnership with the Scottish Government in its commitment to Scotland, saying: “Ryanair wishes to thank First Minister Alex Salmond, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Prestwick airport for their help and support in winning this new hangar and these 200 new jobs for Ayrshire and Scotland despite intense competition from five other European airports.
“Ryanair’s second maintenance hangar at Glasgow Prestwick Airport will create 200 new engineering jobs, in addition to the 2,200 local jobs which have already been created and sustained in Ayrshire as a direct result of Ryanair’s base and our existing hangar facility at Glasgow Prestwick.
“Ryanair’s successful growth in Scotland is possible thanks to our ongoing partnership with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise who have repeatedly supported our vision for many more low fare flights to/from Scotland.”
Scottish Enterprise Chief executive Lena Wilson said: “Ryanair’s continuing commitment to investing and growing its Scottish operations is great news for our economy and Scotland’s aerospace industry.
“Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International have supported Ryanair’s ambitions to expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities, creating new jobs and growth opportunities, while assisting our tourism industry.”