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Strong in aircraft transitions

As part of the Lufthansa Technik Group, Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) is developing into Lufthansa Technik’s Asian center for aircraft transitions. LTP has already performed nine new lease transitions, and this would not be the end this year.

A Lufthansa Technik product for lessors, banks and airlines called the Aircraft Leasing & Trading Support (ALTS) focuses on supporting customers technically and administratively throughout the highly challenging transition phase at the end of an aircraft lease period. ALTS’ close collaboration with LTP to carry out transition checks is backed by LTP’s competitive qualities.

In order to provide the necessary services, it is essential to have comprehensive MRO experience with the relevant aircraft types and access to a network of partners to flexibly and quickly provide all aircraft- and engine-related services. The MRO competence accumulated at LTP in dealing with Airbus aircraft in the A320 family, the A330 and the A340 in addition to being a member of the Lufthansa Technik Group make it the ideal partner to take on such a role.

Lufthansa Technik Philippines has provided clear evidence of this competence in 2011, carrying out nine transitions for the Airbus aircraft. As the tasks have been effectively carried out in Manila, a specialized ALTS team in Hamburg coordinated the work and directed the support for additional services such as Component-, Landing Gear-, Engine- and CAMO support.

As aircraft transitions include documentation check as well as a physical evaluation of the relevant aircraft, regularly the MRO company needs to react on short term findings resulting in additional tasks to be performed, next to the planned letter checks or cabin reconfigurations. In case a new operator still needs to be found, support regarding parking and storage might be requested.

Amongst the cases handled at Lufthansa Technik Philippines in 2011, for example, were two Airbus A319s which originally only needed C4-checks, including component support and final paintwork. The findings of a full video borescope inspection however called for an unplanned engine change. Another transition for an A330, originally scheduled and set up as a C4-check, demanded the short-term replacement of the landing gear. Before coming out of the LTP hangars in an all-white livery, the aircraft underwent neutralization in its skin which involved scuff-sanding the existing livery covering the vertical fin, winglets and fuselage.

These examples are typical of the complexity of many transitions: often the full scope becomes clear in the course of the transition process what work is actually needed.

In order to be able to fulfill the continually changing and growing requirements in such a situation, a high degree of flexibility and willingness is called for on the part of the MRO shop. The requirements range from aircraft parking and preservation tasks, required maintenance activities, painting to cabin modifications.

Bernd Meyer, vice president Aircraft Overhaul at LTP, explains: “It is essential that a very good project management as well as a very good communication among the lessor, lessee and the MRO has been established for such aircraft transition projects. These types of layovers are going definitively different from any “classic” layover (e.g. a pure letter-check with the right time for planning available). During the production of such a transition, for example, the work off of the planned milestones are most likely challenged by new and additional items brought in by the involved parties with pretty much no time for planning. This requires a high degree of flexibility from the MRO especially when available hangar space and production capacity is involved as well as getting access to special tooling. Going the extra mile for our customers is the plus factor for Lufthansa Technik Philippines.”

Harry Seeger, Director Key Account Lessors and Banks at Lufthansa Technik, is pleased with the way things are going at Lufthansa Technik Philippines: “With the transitions already completed in 2011, Lufthansa Technik Philippines has demonstrated their capability and flexibility to perform complex Aircraft Leasing & Trading Support Projects”.


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4th Quarter 2011
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