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BAE Systems inks deal with Southwest Airlines

NASHUA — BAE Systems has signed a five-year agreement with Southwest Airlines to serve as the exclusive provider of maintenance for hundreds of 737 Next Generation aircraft.

According to Dr. Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice-president and general manager of Commercial Aircraft Solutions at BAE Systems, BAE has been providing services to Southwest Airlines since 2011, and looks forward to continuing the relationship.

“BAE Systems’ after-market services help airlines reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of their aircraft,” Siddiqui said in a statement.

BAE Systems announced the new deal on Tuesday, saying it is the exclusive provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the full authority digital engine controls on 450 or more 737 Next Generation aircraft.

Bill Tiffany, vice-president of Supply Chain at Southwest, said Southwest Airlines is excited to enter into this new services agreement.

“BAE Systems has consistently delivered high quality, reliable repair and overhaul services at a competitive price. By minimizing the turn times of (full authority digital engine controls), we have been able to reduce our spare pool over the life of the fleet,” Tiffany said in a release.

Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide repairs that will improve the availability and reliability of Southwest’s fleet, according to the release. The 737 Next Generation aircraft are part of Southwest’s efforts to improve fuel efficiency and profitability.

The majority of the work for the Southwest agreement will take place at BAE Systems’ Fort Wayne, Ind., site, according to Shelby Cohen at BAE Systems.

“While Nashua is the headquarters for this sector of BAE Systems Inc., our U.S. Service Center is located (in Indiana), so BAE Systems employees at our Fort Wayne location will handle this work,” Cohen said in an email to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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