LHT eyes more work from sister airlines Swiss and Austrian

Hamburg
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Lufthansa Technik is planning to attract more maintenance work from its parent group's Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines subsidiaries as it looks to boost turnover.

The German MRO wants closer collaboration with the airlines, particularly with Austrian.

The Vienna-based carrier conducts maintenance work at its own engineering division, Austrian Technik, which is already sharing work with LHT.

Its component repair shop in Vienna is servicing certain part numbers on LHT's behalf, while the latter is supporting Austrian's engines.

Austrian Technik is not formally linked to LHT's network as it operates as a business unit of its parent airline rather than a standalone entity.

LHT is negotiating a more comprehensive work package with Austrian, said Peter Jansen, chief financial officer, at the MRO provider's 2012 business review in Hamburg. But this will require transferring more work to Austrian too.

"We cannot just take over work [from Austrian]," he adds; "we also have to give something back."

While both Austrian and Swiss are wholly-owned Lufthansa Group subsidiaries, he says this does not mean that they need to contract their MRO requirements to LHT by default.

Having to compete for Austrian and Swiss work against other MRO companies is "good" for LHT's own competitiveness, he says.

In mid-2011, Swiss extended an MRO contract with Zurich-based SR Technics for A- and C-checks as well as component maintenance for its Airbus A320, A330 and A340 fleet until 2017.

The deal with SR Technics was primarily agreed to give Swiss - which has no technical facilities of its own - hangar access at its home base in Zurich. The contract includes a hangar sub-lease agreement.

Swiss has meanwhile re-organised some of its MRO requirements, including in-sourcing of line maintenance, engineering and technical management activities from SR Technics.

Jansen says that Swiss took over a number of staff from the maintenance provider as part of the move.

As LHT aims to get more work from Swiss in future, Jansen does not rule out that the German MRO group could set up a facility in Zurich.