German maintenance, repair and overhaul provider Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has embarked on a programme to upgrade Airbus A320s for fellow Lufthansa offshoot Eurowings. The initiative covers cabin conversions for 33 single-aisle jets, including A320s and A319s, being transferred from airberlin to the Düsseldorf-based low-cost carrier under a six-year wet-lease agreement.
“The modification of 33 aircraft in such a short amount of time requires intensive co-operation and great experience,” Ole Duenhaupt, Design Verification Engineer for cabin modifications at Lufthansa Technik explained.
The MRO was responsible for the design and approval of the cabin changes, which include an increase in seat pitch and the corresponding adjustment of the overhead service elements. The company is also installing new safety belts, adapting the in-flight entertainment hardware and modifying the cabin monuments.
“The team responsible for the work, consisting of representatives from the airberlin as well as technicians from Eurowings and our engineering department, co-ordinated and completed all the required steps – from the preparation of the design documents and the planning and co-ordination of the layovers to the aircrafts’ approval and acceptance for flight operations – in the shortest time possible. All the wheels interlocked with precision,” Duenhaupt noted.
Work on all 33 aircraft is due for completion by the end of April.
Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines are exploring the creation of a joint venture maintenance company for the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G family of geared turbofan (GTF) engines. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to look at the possibility of establishing an MRO joint venture at a globally competitive location. In a media release both organisations reported that discussions are ongoing and they hope to make firm decisions by the end of the year.
The German MRO has been maintaining various P&W engine types for decades and in July became a member of the US company’s geared turbofan aftersales service network. With Lufthansa being the first airline to put the GTF-powered Airbus A320neo into commercial service, the group’s MRO provider is positioned to provide services to future operators of the engine. For its part, MTU Aero Engines is a partner of P&W in the PW1000G programme. To date, airlines around the world have ordered about 8,200 of the engines incorporating GTF technology to modernise their fleets. MTU says the high-volume engine programme will contribute substantially to its revenue over the next decade.
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has completed the installation of a high speed connectivity system onto a VIP Airbus A340 for the first time. The German MRO equipped the jet with Ka-band satellite communication technology after becoming the first company in Europe to receive a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for such modifications from EASA. This follows a similar STC for the A320 Family while LHT is also working towards A330 and Boeing 737BBJ approval.
“Over the past months our engineers and avionic specialists have done a great job to get the approvals from the authorities for different aircraft types of both VIP and commercial customers,” LHT’s Senior Vice President of VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services Walter Heerdt remarked. “Again, we have proven to be a pioneer in integrating state-of-the-art technology on board. We take pride in being the first VIP completion and maintenance centre to make this ultra-high speed internet above the clouds a reality.”
The installation of Ka-band technology enables passengers to use the full spectrum of aircraft cabin applications such as email, web, access to VPN networks, voice capabilities, video conferencing, cloud computing and e-commerce.