WGA selects Shreveport Regional Airport to establish aircraft maintenance facility
May 09, 2018: Florida-based cargo carrier Western Global Airlines (WGA) will establish an aircraft maintenance facility at Shreveport Regional Airport.
Western Global will make a capital investment of $3 million for tooling and equipment to support the 152,000-square-foot Hangar 40 at the airport. The company finally planned to establish its own aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Shreveport after outsourcing these functions at multiple locations in the past.
Shreveport’ convenient location and well-qualified hub will help Western Global to maintain its fleet of 16 Boeing 747 and McDonnel Douglas MD-11 widebody freighter aircraft. Western Global Airline’s lease with the Shreveport Airport Authority becomes effective immediately.
Western Global Airlines ultimately will create 170 new direct jobs. In addition, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 308 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 475 new jobs in Northwest Louisiana.
“In Louisiana, our aerospace industry continues to grow with manufacturers, maintenance and repair facilities, industrial air transport companies, and our flagship NASA manufacturing site at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans,” Gov Edwards said.
James K Neff, CEO and founder, Western Global Airlines said: “Shreveport’s central location, abundant and competent workforce and state of the art large aircraft hangar makes it an ideal choice for WGA. We look forward to a very long term, mutually beneficial relationship with the City of Shreveport, the state of Louisiana and Louisiana Economic Development where we can grow together and make Shreveport a center for aircraft maintenance.”
Western Global Airlines will lease Hangar 40 from the Shreveport Airport Authority and occupy space formerly leased by ExpressJet Airlines. That space became available when ExpressJet announced in late 2016 that it would close some maintenance centers in the face of a consolidating commercial airline industry. ExpressJet moved its Shreveport operations to Knoxville, Tennessee, while retaining a smaller maintenance center in Baton Rouge. Several prospects were evaluated by the Shreveport Airport Authority in the past year before the selection of Western Global Airlines.
The company will begin recruiting experienced and certified aircraft technicians immediately, with plans to hire an initial 50 employees this year. Over time, Western Global may elect to obtain additional FAA certification enabling it to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul work on third-party aircraft. During the next decade, Western Global will ramp up employment to 170 personnel.
“Hangar 40 has always played a major role here at the airport and we are happy to partner with and welcome Western Global Airlines to this renovated facility in Shreveport,” said Henry Thompson, director of Airports. “The type of large aircraft that Western Global will be bringing into the airport will be something Shreveport has not seen in many years.”