The mushrooming airlines in India and China were largely responsible for last year’s record levels of airliner orders, and the still-embryonic market for private jet transports in those countries may be about to follow the same growth pattern, Lufthansa Technik executive chairman August Wilhelm Hennigsen suggested here yesterday.
The German maintenance, repair and overhaul major has been in the VIP completion business for decades. In recent years, as the market for corporate and VIP completions of airliners for U.S., European and Middle Eastern customers has boomed, it has moved to introduce an element of standardization into the business.
The three narrowbody aircraft ranges on which LHT focuses are the Challenger 850/870/890, for which it is an exclusive partner with Bombardier; the Airbus A318/319; and the Boeing Business Jet. All three are offered with a modular range of furnishings and color schemes designed to reduce costs and completion times while maintaining the opportunity for individual choice.
The BBJ is offered under LHT’s own Leadership Select brand name, while the A318 Elite is a joint development with the OEM. Hennigsen said the company has 13 confirmed orders for the Elite, with more in the pipeline, and he sees equally big potential for the BBJ program. He expects his company to complete 17 Challengers over the next three years, and around half have already been sold.
Yesterday, Japan Transocean Air selected LHT to provide component support cover for its complete fleet of 23 Boeing 737-400s. The five-year total component maintenance contract calls for the provision of components on the carrier’s Okinawa hub.