ILA: Lufthansa Technik boosts R&D efforts

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Lufthansa Technik is quadrupling its investment in research and development of new product and services.

After the MRO provider spent €50 million ($68 million) over the past five years for innovations in its traditional aircraft maintenance and VIP completions businesses, that budget is to grow to €200 million over the next four years, the Hamburg-based group says.

"The development of product and service innovations is the key to open up new markets and to win new customers,says marketing and sales senior vice-president Walter Heerdt.

New materials and technologies offer opportunities to reduce costs for maintenance services and increase aircraft reliability rates, he says. But the MRO group will also focus on the development of new cabin interior equipment, especially for its VIP completions business.

LHT has set up a set up a department dubbed corporate innovation management and product development. This will be led by Helge Sachs and should coordinate technology development across the group.

Andrew Muirhead has been named as head of a new division that will focus on original equipment manufacturing, particularly for interior installations. "The aircraft cabin is one of the most significant factors in customer perception and product differentiation. The expectations are rising and innovation cycles are becoming shorter and shorter,” he says.