Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) plans to expand its aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services outside of Metro Manila, most likely to Clark, as business picks up at a brisk pace in a context of strong global travel demand.
LTP President and CEO Elmar Lutter revealed the company’s expansion plans Friday, August 19, during the grand opening of LTP’s $25 million Hangar 1A in MacroAsia Special Economic Zone at Manila International Airport.
“We are looking to expand our footprint further and if you look around, we have reached our limits here at NAIA. We will seek to discuss with potential partners and explore opportunities in the Philippines and beyond with the goal of adding affordable, high quality MRO to our region and providing security and reliability to our customers,” said Lutter. in a speech.
The planned expansion outside of Metro Manila was also confirmed by Rainer Janke, LTP’s vice president for marketing and sales.
Janke, however, did not confirm where they would expand, but said Clark was “very attractive”, although the company also operates a small MRO facility in Cebu. Janke further stated that it was necessary to fill his NAIA hub first before he could embark on a new project. He, however, expressed his confidence to fully utilize his NAIA capacity due to the growing demand for MRO services.
He said they could expand their service offering for Boeing from the current 777 and 737 to include narrowbody aircraft and other different aircraft types. Currently, LTP services cater to a fairly good range of Airbus aircraft models, from the narrow body A320, A3201, A330, A340 up to the A380.
According to Janke, business has started to pick up since August-September last year, although MRO orders have come from Europe and the Middle East and few from Asia-Pacific.
The easing of travel restrictions prompted airlines to reactivate their planes. After being parked for a year and a half and receiving minimal maintenance, Janke said these planes needed to be checked to make sure they were in good condition. “It’s an opportunity for us and we’re here in this new hangar at the right time,” he said.
He further expressed hope that the current high demand they are experiencing will return to a level that supports the industry. “Right now the demand is very high because people really want to travel,” he said.
The 9,000 m² Hangar 1A hangar has added three lines to the existing 7 basic maintenance lines to meet the growing demand for its expert MRO services. It is expected to add 20% to LTP’s capacity and employ at least 275 additional people, contributing to the government’s efforts to stop unemployment caused by the protracted health crisis. Hangar 1A will provide base maintenance for a variety of short to long range commercial aircraft including the Airbus A320, A330, A380 and Boeing 777.
Scheduled to be completed in September 2020, construction had slowed when the pandemic triggered a travel crisis amid global border restrictions. Janke said they also struggled to get workers on site during the pandemic. The uncertainty and disruption during the pandemic had made it difficult for them to meet their normal deadlines.
The inauguration of Hangar 1A also marks LPT’s 22 years of business in the country, which Lutter cited as an excellent place for aviation with Asia’s oldest airline, Philippine Airlines, its tradition, infrastructure and the depth and breadth of its talent pool.
“Resilience was invented here. We are optimistic to expand our business again soon. This hangar will be a milestone but not the end of the journey,” Lutter said.
Lutter also noted in his speech that the hangar is also a testament to difficult compromises. He admitted to an “initial panic” on their side during the process of crafting corporate tax reform, known as the CREATE Act, which brought LTP into the limelight. But it came to a compromise following constructive dialogue with the government, and some officials as he thanked officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance, Senate and House, not to tire of responding to their concerns. .
As there are still details to be ironed out, Lutter called on government officials to continue to allow them to speak out in the interests of the international competitiveness of the Philippine MRO industry.
“We started this year with full confidence in the recovery of the travel industry and aviation in general. And then the clouds appeared again: inflation, regional conflicts, and again Covid. And although Times are uncertain, I am optimistic We will overcome the challenges,” he said.
For his part, DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said that the DTI and the Board of Investments provide services and assistance that will ensure the growth of LTPs in the Philippines.
As we have learned during the pandemic, we cannot recover alone. We need each other to survive and thrive. The growth of LTPs is integral to the progress of our country.
Strategically located at Manila’s main airfield, LTP has the capacity to service aircraft to and from major international hubs such as Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. A joint venture between Lufthansa Technik AG and MacroAsia Corporation, LTP is a certified global provider of aircraft MRO services qualified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the United States FAA and other airworthiness authorities in the world. whole world. It currently employs over 2,600 Filipinos at its facilities in Manila, Clark in Pampanga, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo in Aklan and Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
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