EVENDALE, Ohio - British Airways has agreed to a $2.3 billion engine maintenance contract with General Electric Company (GE), making it one of the largest engineering contracts awarded in the airline's history.

Under the 10-year agreement, GE will be responsible for the maintenance, overhaul and repair for British Airways' RB211-524 and CFM56 engines. The Rolls-Royce RB211 engines power the airline's 57 Boeing 747s and 21 767s. The CFM56 engines power the airline's 34 Boeing 737s and 10 Airbus A320s. The CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma. 

The new agreement replaces an existing contract with GE that expires at the end of this year. GE could perform more than 800 overhauls or repairs on British Airways' fleet of RB211 engines and CFM56-3/5 engines during the 10-year period of the agreement. 

All of the work will be performed at GE's engine maintenance facility in Nantgarw, Wales, which employs more than 850 people. The Nantgarw facility performs maintenance, repair and overhaul work on GE90, CFM56-3, CFM56-5, CFM56-7, RB211-524 and RB211-535 engine types. 

Garry Copeland, general manager, Engineering Services at British Airways said: "In signing this agreement, GE has committed to delivering a quality service providing safe and secure operations, on time and at a price which meets our business need. We have every confidence that the GE underlying philosophy of continuous improvement will deliver the high level of service British Airways requires for the future." 

"We have a long-standing relationship with British Airways," said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager, Services at GE - Aviation. "The agreement shows the continued confidence that the airline has in our high-quality capabilities and will help us to maintain a steady flow of work at our Wales facility." 

The signing of the agreement concludes a two-year project by British Airways of its engine maintenance arrangements. GE was selected after an online competitive bidding process. 

GE - Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft. GE also is a global provider of maintenance and support services for operators of GE jet engines.