Cabin MRO, completions and refurbishment giant Lufthansa Technik (Booth 1031) is expanding its innovation engineering capability at its base in Hamburg, Germany. This year, according to Andrew Muirhead, who runs the Innovation Business Unit, the 55-person core team will be boosted by seven additional posts, and further staff positions will be required in 2014 and 2015.
The unit was formed in 2008 with an original investment of more than $14 million and has been responsible for the development of numerous products, from the award-winning NiceView moving-map system to NiceMood LED lighting, to the next generation of executive cabin seating.
New technology aside, among the company’s more recent developments is a new product bundle for the technical lifetime support of executive aircraft on a global level.
In addition to pre-defined service packages, including access to a pool of highly qualified engineers and mechanics and material support through the Lufthansa Technik logistics network, customers will have assured support in incidents involving aircraft-on- the-ground (AOG) and emergencies. “Our customers will get 24/7, global, ‘free-of-charge’ trouble-shooting hotline support for up to 10 man-hours as ‘airside assistance,’ regardless where the aircraft operates,” said Walter Heerdt, senior v-p of marketing and sales. “This means that after signing a stand-by support agreement, no further fees or charges will apply until the customer requests additional service at prior agreed-to prices and conditions.”
Engineering and troubleshooting questions will be handled by Lufthansa Technik’s central maintenance control center. On-call assistance and technical support is guaranteed by Lufthansa Technik over all air transport association chapters.
The 24/7 AOG call center gives ad-hoc engineering consultation and advice on the interpretation of technical documentation like manuals or minimum equipment lists. The AOG support teams offer worldwide, on-site services, such as daily and weekly inspections, defect rectification, AOG rectification and engine inspections.
According to Lufthansa Technik, basic services can be extended by a larger number of additional products from the company’s general VIP maintenance and operational services. These include, for example, maintenance management services such as CAMO support or airworthiness reviews, cabin interior refurbishment, government authority coordination, engine services and component MRO services.
Meanwhile, at the Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai last month, Lufthansa Technik made its presence well known. The company, which delivered eight outfitted Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJs) and Boeing Business Jets (BBJs) in 2012 to Chinese and other Asian customers, announced its intention to deliver another BBJ to the Chinese Nanshan Group in the second quarter of 2013. It also noted that four more cabin completion projects for Asian customers remain in its order book. The cabin completion work was done by Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg and at its U.S. subsidiary BizJet International in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Among other projects for customers in Asia is a new contract with Yunnan Jingcheng Group for a BBJ cabin completion to begin in November this year.
“This contract is clear evidence that our business strategy is on the right track,” said Heerdt. “It’s no surprise that aircraft orders and deliveries continue to soar in the Asian market and Lufthansa Technik is working very hard to continue its role as the market leader for providing services into this area.”
Further, Lufthansa Technik will be providing its Total Technical Support to the Asian owner of two ACJ319 business jets. “It confirms our goal,” said Heerdt, “not just to be a high-quality completion center, but [also] to offer our VIP customers a complete service package, covering the whole life-cycle of their aircraft.”