As part of its ramp up to maintain Comair's fleet, Lufthansa Technik is establishing operations in South Africa and has begun operating the first two local line maintenance stations there earlier this month.
The stations providing comprehensive line maintenance services have been set up in Johannesburg, which will carry out A checks in a designated maintenance hangar, and in Cape Town, where it will undertake weekly checks. Full technical support for the first Boeing 737-800 of Comair started in the middle of May.
Comair has contracted LHT to provide Total Technical Support for its Boeing 737 fleet. The agreement includes integrated fleet management, known as Technical Operations Management, engineering services, the provision of consumables and expendables, integrated component delivery as part of Total Component Support and the establishment of local line maintenance stations.
Forty-five local mechanics, avionic technicians and managers are already working at the new stations--with more to follow this year. By the end of 2020, LHT will be servicing the entire Comair fleet and will have set up various line maintenance stations with up to 120 local employees. Comair ended its previous maintenance arrangement with South African Airways Airways Technical last year and began working with Lufthansa Technik in the summer of 2018.
“The benefits we will see for our fleet and flight operations are more efficient maintenance processes, with our aircraft spending less time on ground,” says Erik Venter, CEO of Comair. “This partnership is an important component of Comair’s ongoing fleet upgrade strategy. Comair already operates South Africa’s most modern and efficient fleet, and our partnership with Lufthansa Technik will enhance that position to the benefit of our customers, investors and other stakeholders.”
Ulrich Hollerbach, CEO of Lufthansa Technik Maintenance International, says: “We have a lot of experience in setting up maintenance stations in different regions of the world, but South Africa is something special for us. It’s a much bigger project than most, since we had to construct the entire organization literally from the ground up.”
Comair operates scheduled services on domestic routes across South Africa as a British Airways franchise while also operating as a trading name of kulula.com. It operates 19 737 aircraft. These include -400 and -800 variants, as well as the 737MAX that is currently grounded as part of a global ruling.