UK low-cost carrier EasyJet has awarded Lufthansa Technik a contract to conduct base maintenance on Airbus A320-family jets in Malta.
The German MRO provider says "more than 100" of the aircraft will be overhauled by Lufthansa Technik Malta over the next five years; eight will additionally undergo interior reconfiguration as part of intermediate layovers, or IL-checks.
Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat was present when the base maintenance deal was signed in Valletta today.
EasyJet director of engineering Ian Davies states that the airline is "convinced of the quality of the base maintenance services we can expect from Lufthansa Technik Malta", on the basis of "our experience with Lufthansa Technik in Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Milan and Sofia, and the co-operation we recently started at [London] Gatwick airport".
Lufthansa Technik Malta chief executive Marcus Motschenbacher notes that more than 100 employees will work "directly or indirectly" on EasyJet aircraft. The agreement "will allow us to increase the workforce by at least 50 new colleagues", he adds.
Work for EasyJet will also be undertaken in Bulgarian capital Sofia, states Stephan Drewes, LHT's vice-president of production network aircraft base maintenance.
Earlier this year, EasyJet extended a base maintenance contract with SR Technics for five years. The Swiss MRO specialist has been completing IL-checks for EasyJet at its Maltese facility since 2010.
In addition to IL-checks, the contract extension covers cabin reconfiguration, for which SR Technics will establish a third, dedicated maintenance line.
LHT and SR Technics are to work independently on EasyJet's fleet and will not share work packages for individual aircraft, LHT tells FlightGlobal.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that EasyJet has 144 A319s and 112 A320s in service. The Luton-based carrier has a further 37 A320s and 130 A320neos on order.