Lufthansa Technik highlights completions, MRO at MEBA
Lufthansa Technik, best known for its VIP completions of executive-configured Airbus and Boeing airliners, is also showcasing the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) side of its "VIP and executive jet solutions" at the MEBA show (Stand C305).
"Lufthansa [the German airline], our parent company, is operating a lot of our customers' airplanes," said Walter Heerdt, senior vice president for marketing and sales. "We know the aircraft, and we know the maintenance, and if they need an engine or component or service, we will get it there very speedily. And this puts Lufthansa Technik in a position to offer a service nobody else can."
As part of its emphasis on offering MRO to VIP customers in the Middle East, last year the company signed a cooperation agreement with Riyadh-based National Air Services (NAS) to develop MRO services that include work on VIP-configured aircraft.
"This is for us a very important milestone," Heerdt said of the NAS agreement, "and we are going to develop this at a pace which is set by both companies jointly."
But Lufthansa Technik is not neglecting its own VIP completions, and the Middle East has long been its most important market, representing about 70 percent of the company's completions over the last 25 years, according to Heerdt.
"We are seeing that other markets are emerging: China, India, Russia," Heerdt said. "But traditionally the Middle East is still the strongest market for VIP aircraft."
Heerdt also noted that the global economic downturn has had little impact on the company's business. The company's completion centers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Hamburg are currently at capacity, with more work coming.
"We have signed [contracts] this year for two BBJs [Boeing Business Jets], and we expect to sign another one this month," Heerdt said.
Going forward, the company has expanded its completion capacity to handle three wide-body aircraft simultaneously at its Hamburg facility.