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Rick Scott announces airliner entertainment company’s expansion, 500 jobs

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A company providing airline and airplane in-flight entertainment systems plans to expand its Brevard and Orange county operations and add as many as 500 new jobs over the next five years, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday during a trade mission to England.

Thales, a French aerospace, transportation, defense and security technology company, announced its plans to expand its InFlyt Experience unit, which has operations in both Melbourne and Orlando. The announcement came at the Farnborough Air Show in London.

InFlyt also expects to seek another 100,000-120,000 square foot facility expansion somewhere in Brevard, and that’s where the bulk of the 500 new jobs are expected to go. Scott and Thales executives announced that 327 new jobs are envisioned in Brevard and 173 in Orlando.

“I am proud to announce that Thales chose Florida to expand and create 500 new jobs for Florida families,” Scott said. “We met with Thales at the Paris Air Show last year, and it’s great to make this exciting announcement today in London. I look forward to seeing their continued success in our state.”

Thames created InFlyt in 2014 after purchasing the LiveTV unit from JetBlue, which helped pioneer in-flight, satellite-fed entertainment systems in the air. That facility is located at the Orlando International Airport.

Nearly 100 major international airlines have selected their IFEC systems and solutions, including passenger systems that integrate broadband communications and accommodate personal electronic devices.

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Scott and other state and local officials, we are pleased to be able to further expand our competitive footprint in Florida,” Alan Pellegrini, president of Thales USA, said in a news release issued by the governor’s office. “The state’s pro-business agenda is helping to enable our targeted growth.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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