FBOs, small aircraft interiors and aircraft management feature in future plans


Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has held talks with business aviation service providers as part of its strategy to broaden its support provision for owners to cover all aspects of aircraft management and operation.


A joint venture between the maintenance, repair and overhaul specialist and Bombardier Aerospace, Berlin-based Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) has just launched a cabin retrofit programme for smaller Bombardier types. Meanwhile the parent company last week signed a memorandum of understanding with UK fixed-base operator Harrods Aviation to expand a joint airport services company into the rest of Europe. The moves are likely to be followed by further acquisitions and joint companies as LHT attempts to gain greater exposure to non-core areas of business aviation, says Joachim von Holtzapfel, LHT senior vice-president of VIP jet services.


LBAS completed its first entire cabin refurbishment last month, on a Global Express at Berlin Schönefeld airport. Managing director Andreas Kaden says the company will offer refurbishments for all Bombardier types and Beech King Airs and could pursue green aircraft completions under subcontract to Bombardier in Wichita, Kansas.


Kaden says the refurbishment programme, aimed at aircraft undergoing heavy maintenance or a change of ownership, is part of a wider strategy to integrate MRO and completion into the business aviation market. "Together with Bombardier, we are exploring options to find strategic development, to broaden our coverage and tie us into other areas of business aviation," he says. LBAS and LHT often lack the market intelligence on aircraft transactions to enable its sales people to attract potential clients, he adds. LBAS has held talks with "a handful" of aircraft managers, sales agents, charter operators and other business aviation service providers over the past year to define strategic partnerships, he adds.


Stephen Grimes, chief executive of Harrods Aviation, says the MoU marks the start of LHT's formal entry into the FBO market and will be followed by similar joint ventures in Europe and the Middle East.

Source: Flight International