Lufthansa Technik expects to complete construction of a $71.26 million 161,000-sq-ft production facility at its Hamburg location in early 2009.
Completions of corporate and VIP aircraft were worth $111 million in sales to Lufthansa Technik last year, an increase of 20 percent over the 2001 figure. “A big VIP aircraft completion represents between 100,000 and 200,000 working hours,” noted executive board chairman August Wilhelm Hennigsen. “Currently our capacity is fully utilized through most of the third quarter.” But the market is fierce.
The Lufthansa Technik-led Platinet support program for business aircraft operators is up and running. The German aircraft maintenance and completions firm has assembled an initial group of partners for the service and is now looking to expand the geographical scope of the support network.
Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) celebrated its 10th birthday in Berlin on Saturday night with news of an expansion plan that will see the joint venture grow its production capacity more than 30 percent over the next five years.
DaimlerChrysler Aviation, conceived as a corporate flight department in 1998 to transport the German-U.S. car manufacturer’s managers and technical staff among plants ranging as far as Stuttgart, Germany, to Detroit, Michigan, was a charter operator from its inception.
Business Aviation handling group Feras, perhaps best known for its support services network in eastern and central Europe and the CIS, continues to expand in a westerly direction. It is extending its central European base and expects to open seven new bases in Germany over the next 12 months.
Operators at Berlin Tempelhof airport last month challenged a local court recommendation that offered only to postpone closure of the downtown airport by a year, to October 31 next year. A final court decision is now delayed indefinitely. A decision to keep the airport open–limited to certain types of operational use such as business aviation–is still possible.
MEADS International has signed a contract to design and develop the medium extended air defense system. The contract, worth more than $3.4 billion, extends the previous contract letter that had been awarded by the NATO MEADS management agency in September 2004. The U.S. funds 58 percent of the program at present, with Germany providing 25 percent and Italy 17.
The Diamond DA42 MPP (multi-purpose platform) fitted with an UOMZ sensor pod attracted considerable interest when it was displayed at the Paris Air Show. Present studies could lead to the aircraft being offered as an optionally piloted or unmanned aerial vehicle, a development that could be available in about three year’s time.
ExecuJet Europe next month is opening what it describes as the first dedicated executive aircraft FBO at Berlin Schoenefeld Airport. The new operation will expand the existing Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services maintenance facility, in which ExecuJet is a 20-percent shareholder. The round-the-clock FBO will phase in services over the next six months.