Guy Norris/BERLIN

Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) is predicting strong growth in its corporate aircraft activities, following approval by the German Government of financing for the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, in the former eastern sector of the city.

Berlin Schonefeld-based LBAS was set up in November 1997 to provide repair, inspection, overhaul and modification services to operators of Bombardier corporate aircraft, including Learjets, Challengers and the forthcoming Global Express. The first Global Express is expected to arrive in Berlin within six months and the first Bombardier Continental is due to be introduced into Europe in 2002, says the company.

"With Berlin becoming the capital [of Germany] this will attract a growing number of corporate aircraft to Berlin Brandenburg," says LBAS managing director Andreas Kaden. "That was one of the reasons Bombardier and Lufthansa selected Berlin. When Bombardier decided to take a foothold in Europe, Lufthansa Technik was interested in a joint venture, which could open up a geographical link to the east. We think general aviation will grow there, because of the airline situation and bad transport infrastructure," he adds.

LBAS "enjoyed a good full first year", says Kaden, although he admits growth was slow. LBAS recently signed its first maintenance agreement with Windrose Jet Charter, the first Schonefeld-based corporate jet operator. Windrose has just taken delivery of a Learjet 60, the first of its type to be registered in Germany.

Source: Flight International