Lufthansa Technik has disclosed its decision to overhaul at least three of its parent carrier's Airbus A380s at its own headquarters in Hamburg.
The first two of Lufthansa's 14 A380s underwent intermediate layovers (IL-checks) at the MRO provider's Philippine facility during the winter 2015/2016 season.
German daily Hamburger Abendblatt has reported that Lufthansa was not fully satisfied with the quality of these initial A380 overhauls. However, LHT tells FlightGlobal that lack of capacity at the Manila site has required the search for alternative hangar slots.
A third A380 has already been overhauled for Lufthansa by Singapore Airlines' engineering division.
LHT's Philippine site is its main location for A380 airframe maintenance, and caters for third-party clients including Asiana Airlines and Qantas.
At its Hamburg site, LHT completed a cabin reconfiguration and maintenance programme for the parent's A380 fleet. This included installation of business-class and premium economy seats introduced after the double-deck type had entered Lufthansa's fleet in 2010.
However, the Hamburg site has no hangar that can fully accommodate an A380. LHT says it will most likely conduct the IL-checks in a hangar which is used for VIP completions and can be adapted with a mobile enclosure for the A380's rear fuselage and tail fin. This configuration anticipated potential A380 VIP completions.
In order to handle the high volume of cabin equipment, LHT will employ both its regular and dedicated VIP interior workshops for economy and premium seats respectively. The MRO provider says that overhauling an A380 cabin is equivalent to servicing two regular long-haul aircraft, and that it is challenging for regular MRO shops to complete the volume in the required timeframe.
Two months' downtime has been scheduled for each aircraft, the first of which is set to arrive in mid-October. LHT says it is evaluating a potential fourth A380 IL-check in Hamburg before another batch of aircraft will require overhauls during the winter 2017/2018 season.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows Lufthansa's A380s were manufactured between 2009 and 2014.
In view of the the type's total fleet size and the absence of any substantial new orders over the last two years, LHT says it is not currently considering expansion of its maintenance facilities for the A380.