The world's two largest corporate-aircraft makers have moved to reinforce their maintenance capabilities in Europe. Bombardier Aerospace has teamed with Lufthansa Technik, while Raytheon Aircraft is expanding its UK service centre.

The Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Center at Berlin Schonefeld Airport will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the Learjet 31, 35, 36, 45, 55 and 60, as well as the Canadair Challenger and Bombardier Global Express business jets.

The two companies hope to capture a sizeable chunk of the business available from the 185 Learjet and Challenger aircraft now based in Europe.

The centre is the second business-jet venture set up recently between Bombardier and a Lufthansa subsidiary. Late in 1996, the Canadian company and Lufthansa CityLine formed an operation to offer corporate-jet charters by using pool arrangements with executive-aircraft operators. The charter firm is also at Schonefeld.

At the same time as Bombardier was making its announcement, rival Raytheon revealed that it is expanding its Chester service centre in the UK. Chester already services versions of the Hawker jet, and its capability is gradually to be increased to include the Beechjet and King Air family, and the newly launched Premier I and Hawker Horizon. The centre - Raytheon's first outside the USA - will cover Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Raytheon president Roy Norris says that, later this year, the UK operation will be integrated into Raytheon Aircraft Services - the servicing, repair and overhaul subsidiary of the company.


Source: Flight International