Lufthansa Technik’s strategy for the Americas can be summarized by one word—growth—says the MRO’s chief salesperson for the region.
The MRO is targeting two areas in particular: Puerto Rico and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
It opened a narrowbody aircraft maintenance facility in Puerto Rico last October, and is full with work from Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways. The facility opened with two lines but has the capacity for five. Frank Berweger, Lufthansa Technik senior vice president-corporate sales for the Americas, said LHT Puerto Rico plans to add the third line in July and the next two by early 2017. JetBlue and Spirit will occupy some of the additional capacity but LHT is seeking more customers for the capacity.
In the next 2-3 years, Berweger said LHT plans to double the number of components repaired in Tulsa. The MRO is refurbishing the facility and plans to add high-flow pneumatic repairs as the first step, which will happen in the second half of this year. The future after that will depend on what new contracts and aircraft types are demanded, explained Berweger, who added that LHT can “transfer capability that exists in Hamburg today” to Tulsa.
LHT’s Tulsa facility has been tearing down Lufthansa Boeing 747s and 737 Classics that the German airline is retiring. While the teardown business is “still opportunity-driven now,” and is prompted by the thriving surplus market now, “the plan is to take a closer look at it,” he noted.
The other strong piece of LHT’s Americas strategy is helping customers with entry into service as they prepare to accept new fleet types. “In the next five years, more than 1,000 aircraft are going to enter North American fleets,” Berweger said. “We know what it takes for smooth entry into service,” from uploading software on a big scale to composite materials. “We’re currently helping a number of North American customers.”