The narrow- and widebody executive VIP completions market has been unaffected by the economic crisis, according to executives for Germany’s Lufthansa Technik. The Hamburg-based completions specialist has had no cancellations since the global recession began, and in fact has received three new letters of commitment from customers in the last six months.
Airbus’s VIP division continues to benefit from an industry segment that if not immune to the current economic recession and credit crisis, appears at the very least to be relatively unaffected.
Lufthansa Technik Switzerland (Booth No. 343) has opened its new executive/VIP cabin interior facility directly adjoining the company’s aircraft maintenance hangar in Basel. Formal opening ceremonies were held yesterday. The addition represents an investment of just over $3.6 million in the facility, which will be used for interior refurbishment of narrowbody aircraft such as the Airbus A319 family and the Boeing Business Jet.
Jet Aviation Basel, one of Europe’s largest completion facilities, has to live with the long lead times unavoidable in its business, but they can be a blessing in recessionary times. The company has a several-year backlog for large airline-sized aircraft and a little less for purpose-built business jets, which should allow it to bridge a possible reduction in new orders.
Earlier this year, AMAC Aerospace started operating from its new hangar at Euro Airport near Basel, Switzerland. The new business aviation services group has been able to implement initial plans exactly as announced a year ago at EBACE’08.
Associated Air Center, the overhaul, maintenance and modification center based in Dallas, Texas, announced that chief operating officer Jack Lawless is taking on additional responsibilities and will serve as the company’s new business leader. The company is exhibiting at Booth No. 370 as part of the StandardAero group.
Airbus has adjusted its delivery schedule for the A380 superjumbo for this year to reflect a planned cut in production from 18 to 14 airplanes “due to the current economic and aviation crisis and following specific customer requests for deferrals,” the company announced today.
At the opening session of the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2009 in Hamburg last month, a panel of industry executives acknowledged the challenges facing the interiors business during this economic and credit crisis, but they also emphasized the importance of adapting to meet the challenge as an opportunity, while at the same time preparing for the next upswing.
Under the terms of a Memorandum of Agreement signed by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. and CFM International, the two will work toward the development of a new CFM56 maintenance training center at Rajiv Gandhi Airport in Hyderabad. The center is envisioned to mirror CFM facilities operating in France, the U.S.
Airbus COO for customers John Leahy often points to a coming wave of airplane retirements when questioned about airlines’ appetite for new equipment, even during a time of severely slumping traffic and mounting industry losses.