Lufthansa took its first Airbus A350 XWB in February, although Lufthansa Technik has been preparing its technical support for several years. Given LHT’s cooperation with OEMs including Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Honeywell, is LHT’s support for this aircraft different than for other aircraft it services?
Lufthansa Technik always has worked closely with engine and component OEMs as well as with airframers, from design phase to entry into service and finally aftermarket services. Our A350 customers will certainly experience the high standard that all our customers are used to. However, the mentioned cooperations put Lufthansa Technik and our customers in an even better situation. Lufthansa Technik builds in-house repair capability more rapidly, which significantly shortens the overall turn time and contributes to Lufthansa Technik’s unique technical expertise on the A350. Together with the OEMs, we jointly strive to improve the products--especially in terms of reliability--and consequently decrease the MRO cost for our customers.
Harald Gloy, Lufthansa Technik VP Component Services Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia
Does LHT consider itself a center of excellence for this aircraft?
Absolutely. We have been preparing for this platform for many years and are proud to be able to offer such an integrated MRO product. We are already supporting several commercial A350 operators with a broad portfolio and started with Finnair in 2015, being the first European customer for this type.
Will Lufthansa Technik pursue such broad, all-encompassing, services for other new aircraft? If so, which?
Yes, we are generally striving to offer a complete product portfolio for all main aircraft platforms, including aircraft engineering, line and base maintenance, engine and APU MRO, as well as component MRO and asset management, plus surrounding products like final inspection and digital offerings.
When did LHT start providing in-house capability for the complete line of Honeywell components on the A350? Did the agreement originally start with the auxiliary power unit (APU)?
The agreement covered all of Honeywell products including the APU from day one. The APU in-house capability was established in 2016. Lufthansa Technik has held in-house capability for the majority of Honeywell line replaceable units since Jan. 1, 2017, and completed the full Honeywell spectrum by March. Thus, Lufthansa Technik offers full in-house capability for all Honeywell A350 content and acts as the authorized OEM warranty adjudicator for Honeywell products on behalf of the manufacturer. Even though the first re-certification events date back as far as February 2016, the first repair and warranty handled by Lufthansa Technik was in January 2017. Lufthansa Technik will repair Honeywell products for Honeywell, operators, independent MRO and distributors who hold agreements with operators.
What trends are you seeing in component management and repair for this aircraft?
Much like in the entire aviation industry, we experienced a large consolidation of the component aftermarket. The amount of nose-to-tail service providers is very limited. At the same time, we see a trend towards nose-to-tail spares pooling arrangements. Very few operators decide to procure their own spare parts without backing of a larger component pool.