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Lufthansa Unit Plans to Open Aviation Repair Shop in Puerto Rico

A unit of Deutsche Lufthansa AG will open an aviation repair facility in Puerto Rico that will service JetBlue Airways Corp. and create as many as 400 jobs, commonwealth officials said.

Construction at the Lufthansa Technik AG operation will begin in the next three months at the Rafael Hernandez International Airport, a former U.S. Air Force base in Aguadilla, on the northwestern part of the island, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said today in an e-mailed statement.

Puerto Rico is seeking to revive its shrinking economy after its credit ratings were cut to speculative grade in February by the three largest ratings firms. The facility is part of Garcia Padilla’s plan to create 58,400 jobs by 2017 in the life-sciences field, engineering, tourism and agriculture.

A 2008 tax-incentive law allows Puerto Rico to cut the levy on large-scale companies to as low as 4 percent from 39 percent to help retain businesses and attract new manufacturers to the island.

The commonwealth’s jobless rate was 15 percent in February, higher than any U.S. state and more than double the national average.

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