From Components to Corporate Jets to Landing Gears
Lufthansa Technik AG (LHT) is on its way to further strengthening its presence in North America, the world`s largest market for aircraft and aircraft servicing.
In addition to providing various MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services for major North American carriers such as American Airlines, Atlas Air, Northwest and United Airlines, it is increasingly buying into existing companies and establishing new companies in the North American MRO sectors for airline and corporate/VIP aircraft. LHT`s goal in North America is to increase its market share of outsourced third party MRO business to match the 10 percent share it has earned worldwide.
With its acquisition in May of 2000 of Tulsa-based BizJet International, a well-known provider of MRO services for business aircraft and engines, LHT has moved into the world`s largest market for corporate and private jet aircraft. This location in Oklahoma is centrally located and convenient to the more than 7,000 business aircraft currently being operated in North America. In the near future, with the construction of a 44,000 square foot hangar, Lufthansa Technik will also be able to service in Tulsa its XXL Class Executive Jets (based on the Boeing Business Jet or Airbus Corporate Jetliner) and has thus moved a step closer to its corporate/VIP customers. Also growing in another direction, BizJet has installed a PW100 turboprop test cell to add another engine to its portfolio that already includes the CJ610, CF700, JT15D, and TFE731 jet engines. BizJet has also expanded the size of its interior shops by 3800 square feet to increase the capacity to serve the needs of its traditional customer base that runs from Learjets, Citations and Falcons to Challengers and Gulfstreams.
Founded in Dallas in 1999, Lufthansa Technik Component Services (LTCS) has become a foundation of LHT`s North American involvement. LTCS supplies NA airlines with aircraft components such as hydraulic pumps, control gears and flight-management computers. “We started off with a small number of customers, but now major NA carriers are showing an increasing interest in having Lufthansa Technik supply their fleets with serviceable spare parts,” says Jim Stoecker, President of LTCS and General Manager of LHT Business Development in North America. Located in the west cargo area of the Dallas Fort Worth airport, LTCS offers complete order processing and receipt of unserviceable components, the logistical handling to and from the shops, and the timely return of serviceable parts to the customer - all done locally in the same timezones as the customers.
With the acquisition in September 2000 of a controlling interest in California-based Hawker Pacific Aerospace, which specializes in the maintenance and overhaul of aircraft landing gears and components, LHT has become a leading service provider in that segment as well. With its own shop in Hamburg servicing primarily Airbus landing gears, plus, the Hawker operations in California and London also servicing Boeing and Lockheed landing gears, LHT can now offer its customers worldwide a full range of services for landing gears of all models of commercial aircraft. Hawker also brings additional hydromechanical component capabilities which provides a further strengthening of its market presence in North America.
Equally beneficial has been LHT`s acquisition of 20 percent of the spare-parts manufacturer Heico Aerospace Holdings Corporation of Hollywood, Florida, and of 40 percent of the Chicago-based parts-trading AirLiance Materials, in which partners United Airlines and Air Canada also hold interests.
To serve its many airline customers, LHT has representative sales offices in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York in addition to its main North American sales office in Tulsa. Customers thus have LHT representatives close at hand, be it for servicing V2500 engines for United, doing C checks of 747s for Atlas Air, overhauling landing gears for Northwest or supplying components to American Airlines.
“We are laying the groundwork for participating in the significant growth of the MRO market in North America,” asserts Jim Stoecker. “Now we must work with our customers to satisfy their operational requirements and earn their confidence which should further increase our market share. The future expansion of our North American business will be primarily driven by our customer`s requests for our capabilities and the opportunities in the marketplace.”