European maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers expect a downturn in air transport, and analysts say consolidation in the support market will likely result from this trend.
BizJet International, on the strength of its acquisition last fall by Lufthansa Technik and “exceptional growth” over the past year, sees continued growth in the future. At a press conference yesterday, company president and CEO Peter Loeb noted as one example record demand for JT15D engine overhaul and repair. “By the end of September, the year will have been the best year in the company’s history for JT15D overhaul and repair,” he said.
Hamburg, Germany-based maintenance, repair and overhaul, and business jet completion provider Lufthansa Technik yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with flight support and ground handling specialist Air Routing International of Houston for mutual customer support.
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has expanded capacity at its Hamburg, Germany completions center and now offers a dedicated production line for large airliner-class VIP jets and four lines for its branded XXL Class interiors for the Boeing Business Jet and Airbus Corporate Jetliner. Starting in 2003, the company will offer XXL Class completions on Fairchild Dornier’s Envoy 7, which is a derivative of its 728JET regional airliner.
German customs authorities have awarded Lufthansa Technik Logistik authorized economic operator (AEO) status in recognition of the company’s adherence to comprehensive security and safety guidelines laid down by the European Union.
Construction has begun on a new aircraft engine overhaul hangar in Hamburg to support an expansion of Lufthansa Technik’s production capacity in Germany. More than $76 million will be invested at the company’s home base over the next few months. The first engines will be overhauled at the new facility early next year.
Lufthansa Technik’s Asia Pacific joint ventures are expanding in line with the region’s air transport growth. Ameco Beijing (Stand No. D78) is due to inaugurate the biggest maintenance hangar in Asia next month, Lufthansa Technik Philippines (Stand No. H65) has opened a second widebody hangar in Manila and Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen has added new capabilities.
The world’s airlines may have made $5.6 billion profit last year and achieved record load factors of 77 percent but Lufthansa Technik CEO August Wilhelm Hennigsen said here yesterday, “With fuel at $100 a barrel and the smell of recession coming from the U.S. the question is whether the industry will continue to grow.”
Lufthansa Technik has completed the first installation of an unconventional moving-map system on an Air Berlin Boeing 737 and expects to carry out the first installation on a VIP aircraft, a Europe-based Boeing Business Jet, early next year.
Jet Aviation has announced a new AOG support service called Jet-Response. The main feature of the service, which will initially be available only in the U.S., is a one-call-fixes-all, toll-free telephone number (877-JET-HELP) to reach technicians who will coordinate the necessary response around the clock.