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FARNBOROUGH: Thales to expand IFE business in Florida

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Thales Group aims to create as many as 500 new jobs in Florida and invest more than $20 million in the US state over five years as part of an effort to expand its in-flight entertainment business, called InFlyt Experience.

The investment will fund development of a roughly 100ft2 facility on Florida's central eastern coast, and there will be future expansion in Orlando, Thales has disclosed at the Farnborough air show.

Thales has recently been expanding in the USA.

In 2014, the company acquired Melbourne, Florida-based LiveTV from JetBlue for $399 million. Earlier this year, Thales' cyber-security business, also based in Florida, acquired California-based data encryption company Vormetric Solutions.

In February, Thales USA chief executive Allen Pellegrini said the company had been surprised by continued interest by airlines in seat-back live television.

Demand had remained strong, he said, despite the expectation that the seat-back IFE would be eclipsed by streaming systems.

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