The Lufthansa Group is expanding its position within the Asian aviation market. The successful collaboration of Air China and Lufthansa in China’s largest aircraft-maintenance operation, Ameco Beijing (Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Co.), is to be continued for 25 years. “With the continuation of the joint venture, Lufthansa is both strategically and operationally well positioned in the Chinese market for the long term,” declared Lufthansa executive-board chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber. Lufthansa is the most successful European carrier in the Asian air-transport sector and jointly with Air China clearly No. 1 in China. “Our Asian business has an excellent future. We want to strengthen our position there and, working with our partners, expand it,” Mayrhuber added. “Our collaboration with our Chinese partners has developed excellently. In these past years Lufthansa has acquired a market competence in China that will continue to deliver an important contribution in future. Mutual reliability, high professionalism and utmost fairness are the basis of the joint venture - the hallmarks of successful Sino-German cooperation.”
The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China has now approved the new joint-venture agreement, which launched the cooperative enterprise 15 years ago. Air China will continue to hold a 60-percent interest, that of Lufthansa to remain 40 percent. A capital infusion of 100 million dollars during the next four years is agreed, as is an appreciable expansion of Ameco Beijing’s maintenance services to meet the needs of the growing fleet of Air China and of the fleets of other domestic and international customers.
This cooperative effort in aviation now to be continued has made new contributions to Sino-German collaboration. Ameco Beijing today employs more than 3,900 specialists at its facility bordering on Beijing Capital International Airport. In addition to Air China, it counts among its customers more than 30 Chinese and some 40 international airlines. Since it was founded in 1989, the two founding partners have invested nearly 200 million dollars in this first major Sino-German joint venture in the aviation industry, thereby turning it into China’s the most comprehensive capability MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) operation.
The agreed capital infusion will help to finance an extensive further investment program which over the next 25 years will include the construction of additional hangars, materials warehouses, components workshops plus an expansion of its services in the areas of maintenance and engine servicing. The number of Ameco Beijing’s employees will also increase considerably during that period in order to enable it to continue servicing the Air China fleet and to meet the rising demand in Asia and other global markets.
“The new agreement attests to the successful cooperation between Lufthansa and Air China not only in aircraft maintenance. The technical servicing of its planes by Ameco Beijing assures Air China of maximum reliability while offering Lufthansa Technik welcome opportunities in the growth markets of China and the rest of Asia,” says August Wilhelm Henningsen, Chairman of the Executive Board, Lufthansa Technik AG, of this cooperative enterprise in Beijing now to be continued for another 25 years. The Lufthansa contribution to the venture’s operation is performed by Lufthansa Technik, which also provides the German general manager in its dual top management.
The range of services provided by Ameco Beijing includes line and heavy maintenance of Boeing and Airbus jetliners and the servicing of engines and components. Painting of all the commercial aircraft types is another of its successful products. Ameco Beijing is one of MRO providers licensed by China’s CAAC, the U.S. FAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as well as by the regulatory authorities of 16 other countries. In 1994 Ameco Beijing placed in operation China’s largest aircraft-painting hangar. In 1996 it completed construction of what was then Asia’s largest aircraft maintenance hangar, capable of accommodating as many as six Boeing 747s at a time.
After years of close collaboration between the Chinese and German governments at the Aeronautical Apprentice Training Center (AATC), in 1996 Ameco Beijing itself took over the training of aviation specialists, and in 1999 the AATC gave birth to the Ameco Aviation College (AAC). Here, on the basis of the German dual system, the training is conducted in accordance with EASA Part 66 regulations.
Ameco Beijing was founded on 1 August 1989 with a nominal capital of 88 million dollars. Ameco Beijing has turned a profit every year of its existence.