Vince Cable inspects one of the Boeing 737MAX winglets to be produced by GKN on the Isle of Wight. Picture courtesy of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
GKN has announced a multi-million pound order which secures Isle of Wight jobs today (Tuesday).
The company said the huge contract, awarded by Boeing, showed it could successfully compete in a global marketplace on price and quality.
GKN has been subject to months of industrial unrest after management tried to impose new terms and conditions on East Cowes workers.
In a joint announcement Boeing, GKN and business secretary Vince Cable revealed GKN had been selected to manufacture sets of drag-reducing winglets for the 737 MAX aircraft, which has more than 1,600 orders from airlines around the world.
They will be made at East Cowes with final assembly at GKN’s facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Although the company declined to comment on the exact of the contract, it is understood to be worth several million pounds.
GKN chief executive Marcus Bryson said: "This contract was bid on an assumed future cost base — and demonstrates that we can win work in a global competitive marketplace and secure employment on the Isle of Wight.
"We announced our first winglet contracts for Boeing aircraft in 2007 and this award reflects the on-going success of our growing relationship.
"It also draws on our expertise in the efficient manufacture of complex composite and metallic wing structures and makes full use of our ability to assemble this advanced structure.
"We are extremely proud to be part of the team that is producing this unique winglet and to be involved with Boeing in creating this extremely efficient next-generation airframe."
The single-aisle 737 MAX aircraft is scheduled to make its first flight in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. GKN will deliver the first developmental winglet sets to Boeing in 2015.
UK business minister Michael Fallon said: "This significant deal creates and secures hundreds of high skilled, long-term engineering jobs on the Isle of Wight and across GKN's domestic supply chain."