Thales, a global technology leader for the aerospace, transport, defense and security markets based in Paris, France, will expand in Orlando, adding 173 new jobs in the region and investing $6.6 million in the local community.

Thales’ InFlyt Experience unit has rapidly grown to become a world leader in the in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) market. Thales provides in-flight entertainment and connectivity products to 100 major international airlines.

Thales’ expansion in Orlando adds to the growing trend of companies who provide technology manufacturing for transportation-related products in the region. Similar to VOXX International, a company that engineers and assembles entertainment units for automobiles, Thales repairs and refurbishes in-flight entertainment units for the aviation industry. 

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

Governor Scott announced the expansion from the Farnborough Air Show this week.

“Thales’ expansion in Orlando will bring high-quality and high-paying jobs to the region while elevating and diversifying our economy,” said Orlando EDC Chair, David Fuller. “By highlighting our talented and exceptional workforce, the Orlando EDC was able to help win this project and I am proud of the work done by the team and all of its partners.”

Partners in the expansion include Enterprise Florida, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Orange County/City of Orlando, Orlando Economic Development Commission and CareerSource Florida.

“The Orlando region’s aviation, aerospace and defense industry, with an annual payroll of $1.5 billion, is one of the strongest in the country,” said Holly Wiedman, executive vice president of the Orlando Economic Development Commission. “Our highly trained workforce is an asset that continues to enable our economy to grow jobs in this field and we are so pleased Thales has chosen to expand in the Orlando region.”

Aviation, aerospace and defense account for 18,900 jobs in the Orlando region with 220 companies and more than 2,400 annual graduates. Advanced manufacturing is also a leading industry with 500 companies, more than 13,000 employees, 1,900 annual graduates and $1 billion in annual payroll.