Airport expansion bringing hundreds of jobs to Lenoir County

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – City and business leaders gathered for the ribbon cutting of a new hangar at Kinston Regional Airport Wednesday.

The hanger became the latest installment to the nation’s second-largest private aviation company.

Hanger number four for flyExclusive is something that has been in the works for years and can now be celebrated.

“Seeing this here is really exciting because I know sometimes Kinston doesn’t have the best reputation, so this is just, it’s amazing, its epic, it’s all those words that I could think of… it’s exciting for the employees here and the people here in Kinston to see something like this,” Jillian Wilson, flyExclusive marketing assistant said.

For Wilson, the company’s investment in the community means a great deal.

Now with a new 50,000-square-foot hangar home to 16 planes and about a hundred workers, flyExclusive says its future in Kinston is just beginning.

“A $300 million order of airplanes starts delivering in literally June of next year, so we’ve [got to] plan for the future and build space out for that, but that’s kind of what the next one does, and then the training facilities and the offices and corporate offices support all of that growth as well,” Jim Segrave, flyExclusive chairman and CEO said.

Airport officials also say the hangar will positively impact Kinston’s economy.

“This facility allows us to bring more of our maintenance here. About a year ago, we did about 20% of our maintenance here in Kinston and 80% elsewhere. That 80% is other dollars that are being spent elsewhere, other mechanics that we’re employing elsewhere. Now we’re repatriating those dollars back here to eastern North Carolina,” flyExclusive President Tommy Sowers said.

WITN was told there are other big plans for further expansion coming in the near future, but specifics were not shared yet.

The company, flyExclusive, says it is proud to have its headquarters in the area and would like to help the community in any way possible.

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