Existing capacities being adjusted to meet heavy demand New jobs in the Hamburg region
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is enlarging its VIP Center at the Lufthansa Base in Hamburg. Two or three additional production lines for the LHT XXL Class are planned for next year.
A total of five of the custom-equipped jets will be delivered during the year 2000, with six to eight more scheduled for completion in 2001. It is estimated that sales for the present year will reach some 150 million DM.
The reason for this uptrend is the growing demand for customized business jets by private customers, government agencies and crowned heads of state. With its XXL Class Executive Jet, LHT has moved into a leading position in that market. The XXL Class is a Boeing 737-700 Business Jet (BBJ) or Airbus A319 Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) with a cabin interior completed by LHT in accordance with the specifications of the individual customer. The product embodies the same high quality, reliability and flexibility that have characterized the many VIP aircraft that Lufthansa Technik has similarly completed over the past 40 years.
The success of this concept is seen as continuing into the future. LHT is anticipating a notable increase in demand over the next three to five years. “The ongoing need for this product is ensuring the security of high-quality jobs and is fueling our expansion,” explains Hans Indlekofer from the Lufthansa Technik VIP sales division. Starting in 2003, the XXL Class will be supplemented with an additional aircraft type.
Accordingly, by the end of next year 120 new employees are to be hired and a further investment made in the workshops and other facilities at LHT`s Hamburg location. The new employees will be mainly skilled specialists from the aviation sector such as mechanics, avionics technicians and aeronautical engineers.
This in turn will create a fair number of other jobs in the Hamburg region, particularly among LHT suppliers engaged, for example, in plastics processing and furniture manufacturing, whose companies will also benefit. Thus this line of business is becoming an important economic factor in Hamburg`s aviation industry.
LHT not only finishes the cabin interiors of business aircraft, configuring and equipping them in accordance with its customers` most exotic wishes, but it then offers its customers a complete servicing package. Lufthansa Technik specialists are on hand from the outset to advise the customer on everything from the initial design of the aircraft to its manufacture or purchase, to its cabin layout and equipment, to readying it for operation, to technical servicing and, if desired, even to reselling it.
These support services - which are also available, incidentally, to customers who had their aircraft originally completed and equipped by LHT competitors - have thus far been very successful particularly in Europe and the Middle East. However, with its acquisition of Bizjet based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a provider of MRO services for business aircraft, LHT is also stepping up its presence in North America, the world`s largest aviation market. This is a perfect supplement to its XXL Class product.
Thus Lufthansa Technik is indeed responding to the growing business-jet market.
The expansion of its facilities for completing such aircraft, plus its sales-stimulating participation in trade shows such as that of the NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) in the U.S. and that of the EBAA in Europe, plus the company`s perennial excellent reputation, promise considerable success in the years ahead.