Wichita General Electric Co. has won a $600 million contract from AirTran Airways to do engine maintenance at its Cowley County plant.
The 15-year contract was for maintenance work that would be done at GE's engine plant at Strother Field near Arkansas City, the company said Tuesday.
"This is really good news," said GE spokesman Rick Kennedy. "While it doesn't mean added jobs, it does provide a long-term volume of work that really helps build stability."
The plant at Strother Field employs more than 900 workers.
"It helps people feel more confident," said George McCune, director of Cowley County Economic Development. "And that confidence is what helps people make the decision to buy a home or a new car or other things."
Kennedy said the engines would be delivered in 2004 and it would be a year or more after that before they come back for maintenance.
"But, this is exactly what a plant like Strother Field needs. It helps download a volume of work for years to come," he said.