JOBS at Airbus in Broughton are secure after the company scooped a £20bn deal with the U.S Air Force (USAF).
The firm has been selected over rival Boeing to build 179 KC-45A Tankers, which are based on the A330.
The wings for the fleet will be made at the Flintshire factory representing, 2.5 - 3.5 years work at current production rates.
A delighted Brian Fleet, senior vice president and head of the wing and pylon centre of excellence said it will help sustain around 13,000 Airbus UK jobs, of which about 7,400 are in Broughton.
“The USAF has selected the best tanker in an extraordinarily rigorous competition. It gives the transatlantic alliance a significant industrial boost and will secure British jobs at Airbus – Broughton and Filton – for many years to come.
“The order is very important too for the hundreds of companies and thousands of workers in Airbus’ UK supply chain.”
This includes 32,000 in the UK supply chain and 90,000 in induced employment around the UK, meaning the deal will sustain 135,000 UK jobs.
At present, there are no plans for more jobs in Broughton, although the option has not been ruled out.
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami and AM Carl Sargeant were delighted with the news.
Mr Tami said: “This is an amazing order for Airbus, which not only secures work for the 7,400 Broughton staff but also means further jobs are likely to be created.
“Some American politicians are reeling over the decision to opt for Airbus, but US Air Force chiefs have made the right decision and I will be writing to thank them.”
Mr Sargeant added: “This will help stabilise the company in the volatile currency markets giving the workforce confidence for the future of the Broughton plant. Well done to all”
Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones described it as “another vote of confidence” in the skills of the Broughton workforce.
He added: “Airbus is one of the largest private sector employers in Wales and its apprenticeships, work based training and award winning graduate training scheme are clearly not only playing an important role in raising skill levels but also in securing the future of the plant in Flintshire.
“I'd like to congratulate them on their success and thank them for their contribution to the Welsh economy.”