Lufthansa has contracted German-based freighter conversion and maintenance specialist Elbe Flugzeugwerke for two Airbus A380 heavy checks.

EFW says the two aircraft will each undergo an intermediate layover – or 3C-check, scheduled after six years of operation – at its Dresden site during the winter season.

Surveillance data on Flightradar24 indicates that the first aircraft (registration D-AIMH) was ferried from Frankfurt to Dresden on 1 October.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered jet was built in 2010.

EFW says the check will take several weeks and will involve complete removal of the cabin interior and disassembly of certain exterior parts, including landing flaps.

At its Hamburg headquarters, Lufthansa Technik conducted IL-checks on three of its parent's A380s during the 2016/2017 winter season. But earlier this year, LHT terminated airframe heavy checks at that site, citing cost concerns.

LHT has established a dedicated A380 heavy maintenance line at its site in Manila and serves a number of third-party customers there.

EFW says it was approved as a "full" A380 maintenance provider in 2015, having previously been one of few selected sites for wing-rib modifications on the aircraft.

Managing director Andreas Sperl describes A380 heavy maintenance as a "niche [business] with a promising future". He states: "Around the globe, only few companies are capable to completely check an A380, and yet there is tough competition."

In 2016, Singaporean maintenance specialist ST Aerospace increased its shareholding in EFW to 55%. The remaining shares are held by Airbus.

Source: Cirium Dashboard