Company to show off corporate layout on large model at EBACE, as prospects for head-of-state order brighten

Lufthansa Technik (LHT) will unveil a large-scale model of a VIP-configured Airbus A380 at next week's European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, as prospects improve for a launch order for a corporate/head-of-state version of the ultra-large airliner.

More than 20 Boeing 747s – including six -400s – are operating in a VIP role, several of which were modified by LHT, including an Oman government aircraft. "We have good connections with VIP 747-400 operators and we feel market interest from potential VIP A380 customers is increasing as they look to upgrade from the 747," says the company.

The German maintenance, repair and overhaul specialist, which has a major VIP aircraft modification business, has been working on plans to offer a corporate A380 modification for some time. Speaking earlier this year, LHT executive board chairman August Henningsen said that "a VIP A380 is going to happen sooner or later", but denied that any "firm discussions" with potential clients were under way.

At EBACE, LHT will exhibit a 3.7m (12ft) -long A380 model with plexiglass fuselage panels to allow the corporate layout to be viewed. LHT says that initially, the model's upper deck will be completed with a VIP cabin that includes bedrooms and a conference room. LHT is preparing to expand in Hamburg to handle conversions.


Source: Flight International