Sixty jobs are to be created in Dungannon, after Mallaghan Engineering announced a multi-million-pound contract to build a fleet of airport buses for budget airline Ryanair.
Ryanair has initially ordered a 32-strong fleet which will be delivered in the next 12 months,
The “Mallaghan 50W” is the largest capacity airport bus in the world, each carrying up to 125 passengers.
The keys to the first vehicle were handed over at the Inter Airport Europe trade show in Munich last week.
Mallaghan Engineering is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of airport ground support equipment, employing over 450 staff at its manufacturing sites in Dungannon and Georgia, Atlanta in the USA and five other global offices.
Ronan Mallaghan, managing director at Mallaghan Engineering, said: “Traditionally our product portfolio has focused on passenger stairs and a range of high lift trucks for catering, cabin cleaning and more specialist ground support equipment including water trucks, toilet trucks and de-icers.
“But with increasing passenger numbers in the global market and to meet customer demands, we’ve developed and begun manufacturing the “Mallaghan 50W” airport bus which broadens our range and heralds a new dawn for the Mallaghan team.
“We are currently recruiting for a range of roles included skilled mechanics, coach-builders, fitters, welders, joiners, spray painters and vehicle upholsters.
“The airport bus is the result of a significant investment announced last year and was researched and designed by our talented team in Dungannon.
“Since Mallaghan’s entered the GSE market in 1990, innovation for aviation has been at the core of our business.
“We expect to announce further investment in the weeks ahead, not only in research and development, but our facilities and our people, enabling us to expand our innovative product range and to significantly boost export sales.
“The feedback received at the Inter Airport Europe Exhibition in Munich, following the launch of the bus, has been exceptional.
“We’re proud to be the preferred airport ground support equipment supplier of many airports and airlines across the world and will continue our commitment to aviation innovation to meet the needs of a changing industry.”
Adrian Dunne, Ryanair Director of Operations, commented: “Ryanair is delighted to be the launch customer for the new Mallaghan bus, who we have worked closely with in the design, specification and delivery.
“As we expand the Ryanair Group operations, we expect this to be the first of many orders and look forward to working with Mallaghan – one of our key suppliers of ground equipment.”