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20 Feb

More environmentally friendly maintenance of aircraft fire extinguishers

Lufthansa Technik AG is now using a new, faster and more environmentally conscious process to maintain aircraft fire extinguishers at its Hamburg component shop. A test facility for this work was dedicated recently and put into regular service. The new process primarily reduces environmental risks while also significantly cutting turnaround times. The job of inspecting the fire extinguisher container no longer involves the time-consuming task of purging the ozone-depleting halon from the container (pressure bottle), temporarily storing it and externally processing it for reuse. Lufthansa Technik is the world's first and only independent maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider that offers this service on the market. 

The pressure bottles of aircraft fire extinguishing systems are usually ball-shaped metal containers that measure between ten and more than 40 centimeters in diameter. Their structural integrity and proper function must be regularly checked. Up to now, they have been emptied and inspected in a water bath using hydrostatic testing methods. As part of the work, the attachment parts on the container are removed and then welded back into place. The inspection also involves the purging of halon, an ozone-depleting chemical that is still used in aviation for this special purpose due to safety reasons and the lack of alternatives. The halon is then temporarily stored in containers at the Hamburg base. Authorized service providers then clean and certify it before it is refilled in the bottles. Each step in the process of purging the fire extinguishing agent, temporarily storing it and transporting it poses a potential risk to the environment.  

The new process enables the fire extinguishing agent to remain in the pressure bottle throughout the entire inspection, a change that eliminates the complex handling of the chemical. In the new inspection procedure, the filled pressure tank is placed into a special jig and then heated in a chamber. The pressure in the container rises, and the stress in its metal housing increases. This results in tension in the material, a process that triggers sound waves. Special sensors acting like microphones are attached to the exterior of the container before the heating process begins in order to pick up these sound waves. Similar to the system used to localize earthquakes in the crust of the Earth the position of every sound source can now be calculated with the help of differences in travel times and conclusions drawn about possible damage to the pressure tank. These findings are promptly displayed to the inspector in a 3D model on a monitor, exactly localized and color coded on the basis of certain criteria. Afterwards, a decision regarding the continued use or disposal of the pressure tank can be directly made. 

"The sensors being used are so sensitive that we can detect and localize very small events in the material structure," explains Anna Balka, the head of the innovation project called EFFECT (Extreme Fast Fire Extinguisher Check and Test) that developed the new process. "Even though the inspection of the pressure bottles is much more sensitive, a complete test takes no more than 90 minutes. The maintenance work can now be completed much faster and more economically and environmentally consciously than with conventional processes, because many other process steps are no longer necessary." 

18 Feb

Lufthansa Technik renews and expands long-term contract with SAS

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has prematurely extended its existing component support contract with Lufthansa Technik AG and added further services. Under the new agreement running until December 2026, Lufthansa Technik will provide an integrated material supply (Total Component Support, TCS®) for the airline's entire Boeing and Airbus fleet, including the carrier's new A350s. In addition, Lufthansa Technik will provide Airframe Related Components (ARC) services for the Boeing and Airbus fleets including LEAP-1A nacelle support.  

"We are pleased to further expand our already close partnership with Lufthansa Technik and to include also the new Airbus A350," says Marc Weber, Vice President SAS Technical Operations. "Based on our excellent and trusted relations, I believe that early extending and enlarging this successful cooperation will allow us to benefit even more from Lufthansa Technik's technical expertise, competence and capabilities. Especially in view of the extensive renewal of our fleet, we continue to fully trust in this support." 

Robert Gaag, Vice President Corporate Sales Europe, Middle East and Africa of Lufthansa Technik, comments: "We are proud and delighted that the leading Scandinavian airline has not only renewed its current contract ahead of schedule, but has also put the material supply of its entire Airbus fleet in our hands. This is not only a sign of trust in our services from SAS but also another strong indication of the investment and dedication that Lufthansa Technik has put into delivering market-leading A350 services." 

Under the Total Component Support (TCS®) contract, Lufthansa Technik supplies spare parts to the airline's Scandinavian hubs. Lufthansa Technik is also responsible for base maintenance of the carrier's A330 and A340 long-haul aircraft as well as for the maintenance and repair of composites structures (Airframe Related Components, ARC). Here, the contract expansion also covers nacelle support for the SAS fleet's A320neo aircraft powered by LEAP-1A engines. Additionally, the agreement entails A350 wheels and brakes services. 

The first of eight Airbus A350s on order has just recently entered the SAS fleet. As part of the modernization of the short and long-haul fleet, SAS will take delivery of new Airbus A320neo (80), Airbus A330 Enhanced (5), Airbus A350 (8) and Airbus A321LR (3) aircraft before the end of 2023. 

17 Feb

Increasing repair capability and worldwide reach: Collins Aerospace and Lufthansa Technik sign A320neo nacelle MRO license agreement

Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), and Lufthansa Technik AG today announced a licensing agreement for nacelle Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services on A320neo aircraft. Collins Aerospace, the original equipment manufacturer for the A320neo PW1100G nacelle, has more than 1,100 nacelles in service on this aircraft platform.  

The agreement, which continues the collaboration between Collins Aerospace and Lufthansa Technik, calls for Collins Aerospace to provide Lufthansa Technik with technical and repair process information, access to OEM tooling, and rotable asset pools to support a full suite of A320neo nacelle MRO services. Building upon Collins Aerospace's eight strategically located nacelle MRO facilities, the agreement now opens A320neo operators to Lufthansa Technik's expansive MRO network around the world. Access to this expanded MRO network together with in-region asset presence and the enhanced ability to conduct on-site repairs around the world will reduce aircraft downtime, passenger delays, and transportation costs incurred by the airline. 

"As a result of this agreement, A320neo operators now have access to multiple high-quality repair center locations for nacelle MRO services," said Marc Duvall, president of Aerostructures at Collins Aerospace. "The collaborative relationship between Lufthansa Technik and Collins Aerospace, which also includes the 787 and A350XWB nacelles, ensures a high standard of quality while meeting the demands of airlines with full confidence." 

Michael Kirstein, Head of Aircraft Systems / ARC (airframe related components) at Lufthansa Technik, said: "In expanding Lufthansa Technik's collaboration with Collins Aerospace, we are expanding the network of support to the growing A320neo customer base of over 100 airlines. Furthermore, this agreement is another milestone for Lufthansa Technik to offer its comprehensive repair and asset provision services on all new aircraft types". 

11 Feb

Component support for Vistara's Boeing 787 fleet

TATA SIA Airlines Limited (Vistara) and Lufthansa Technik have signed a twelve-year component support agreement for the Boeing 787 fleet to be operated by Vistara. The Indian carrier has six firm orders and four options for this aircraft type. The agreement covers a wide range of aircraft components for the Boeing 787. Service provision will start as early as the first quarter of 2020. 

Sisira Kanta Dash, Senior Vice President Engineering, Vistara said: "We are very pleased to partner with Lufthansa Technik to provide component support for our new 787 fleet. We have been working with Lufthansa Technik for the past three years on various projects and are looking forward to further deepening this successful cooperation. We are confident that Lufthansa Technik, with its extensive technical capabilities, fast response time and dedicated support, will optimally contribute to our 787 operations." 

"With our local customer service team, we have developed excellent working relationships with this fast-growing carrier. The airline's requests are always handled with the highest priority," comments Zang Thio, Senior Director Corporate Sales Southeast Asia and Indian subcontinent of Lufthansa Technik. "We are very proud that Vistara has once again placed its trust in us and our services for its new 787 fleet." 

Vistara, a joint venture of TATA group India and Singapore Airlines, is India's premium full-service carrier and the only 5-star rated airline in India. Lufthansa Technik already supports the Indian airline with single component services, ad hoc composites repairs (Airframe Related Components, ARC), consumables supply and AOG (Aircraft on Ground) support for the carrier's Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 fleets. The new contract also contributes to consolidating Lufthansa Technik's role as market leader  for 787 component services in Asia Pacific. 

10 Feb

Wizz Air becomes first customer for Automated Line Maintenance Planning on AVIATAR

Wizz Air, the largest low-cost carrier in Central and Eastern Europe, has introduced Lufthansa Technik's digital Line Maintenance Planning Solution available on the AVIATAR platform as a launching customer. Being a partner of AVIATAR since its introduction in 2017, Wizz Air uses the new tool to improve productivity, maximize aircraft availability and to reduce the manual planning effort.  

The integration of data from various different IT systems on AVIATAR is used by the algorithm based solution to adapt plans for each maintenance location and for every aircraft in the fleet instantaneously. Every change in the flight schedule or maintenance requirements results directly in an updated plan, which can be transferred to the maintenance information system with a single click.  Designed as a decision support tool, planning conflicts are made transparent, allowing the planner to manually intervene and focus on issues where his knowhow is required. The easy to implement solution is compatible with every common flight scheduling system and requires no additional authority approval. 

 "Working with our partners from Lufthansa Technik and the AVIATAR team over the past few months was exciting. We are looking forward to operationalize the use of the new Line Maintenance Planning tool, because it helps us to reduce our human workload," said Ljubomir Jesic, Maintenance Planning Manager at Wizz Air. "Especially for a fast growing airline, like Wizz Air, it is very important to establish efficient processes which can be scaled easily. We are proud to be the launching customer for this very innovative digital solution of AVIATAR." 

"Scheduling maintenance events is a highly complex task and adapting it instantaneously in daily operations is even more complex, when short term changes in flight operations occur," said Valerie Hermann, one of the Product Owners, Line Maintenance Planning Solution at Lufthansa Technik. "Our team has interviewed planners at many airlines and Lufthansa Technik to define the requriements for our new tool and its great to see it go live at Wizz Air." "An ultra low cost carrier and demanding partner like Wizz Air is extremly helpful to focus on the key requirements for a MVP (Minimum Viable Product)," added her colleague, Dajana Kunz. "Developing such an unique solution for the first time is a very ambitious undertaking. Having a visionary customer like Wizz Air helped us to excel." 

05 Feb

Successful demonstration of drone transport solution for medical samples

Today in Hamburg, the joint research project Medifly, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), successfully demonstrated the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for acute transportation of medical samples. A total of six drone flights were conducted between the German Armed Forces Hospital in Wandsbek-Gartenstadt and Saint Mary's Hospital in Hohenfelde, roughly five kilometers (linear distance) apart from each other. The insight gained from today's flights will lay the foundation for extended test operations over several months.  

The research goal of Medifly is to find out in how far unmanned aircraft systems can be used to perform acute transports of medical samples in a safe and reliable manner. Tissue samples are regularly extracted during medical surgery. To make sure that the surgeon has removed all abnormal tissue, the samples  have to be examined by a pathologist during the surgery. Usually, multiple samples are therefore removed, individually packed, and sent to a pathology lab for diagnosis. 

However, most hospitals no longer operate their own pathology labs and hence have their tissue samples transported by an ambulance to the nearest available hospital with a pathology lab. During this time, the surgery is on hold and can not be resumed until the pathologic results are received, often resulting in long periods of anesthesia. Replacing the ambulance by a drone could significantly shorten the transportation process and hence the periods of anesthesia, as the pathology lab can be reached by air, independent of the traffic on the ground. In addition, drones could even connect remote hospitals that sometimes are so far away from any pathology lab that they have to send their tissue samples after surgery. Depending on the diagnosis, this carries the risk of a second surgery. 

As the drone flights not only conducted in a densely populated urban area, but also in the air traffic control zone of Hamburg's international airport, a large number of safety measures had to be implemented. First, evidence had to be provided that automated flights in this complex environment and above highly-frequented traffic routes can be performed safely and reliably at any time. Thus, all parties involved had to invest several months of discussions and thorough planning to obtain the required flight approvals from the responsible authorities. The project partners thank Hamburg's civil aviation authority and the air traffic control office (DFS) at Hamburg airport in particular for the very constructive exchange during the planning phase. 

Several reknowned institutions have joined forces for the Medifly project: ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, FlyNex, GLVI Gesellschaft für Luftverkehrsinformatik and Lufthansa Technik AG. Hamburg's Authority for Economics, Transport and Innovation, as well as both hospitals involved, have joined Medifly as associate partners. Based on the insight gained from today's successful test flights, the partners intend to start an extended test flight campaign soon. This is expected to last several months in order to assess additional factors for an economically-viable utilization of the UAS technology. 

"Due to their manifold fields of application, unmanned aircraft systems have significantly gained importance – on a commercial level as well as in private. Unmanned air systems technology thus provides numerous interesting growth potentials for the German economy," said Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg's Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation. "In this project, the specific benefit for both users and the community is clearly visible. Automated aerial vehicles will contribute significantly to the improvement of health care." 

"Today's successful test flights are an important step towards the future use of drone systems – right in the middle of the city of Hamburg," stated Boris Wechsler, Project Manager for Medifly at ZAL. "We know where to start and what we need to do in the future. And we can already say: further drone projects will follow."  

"Medifly is not a classic aviation topic," said Christian Caballero, Chief Operating Officer at FlyNex GmbH. "The mass of influencing factors for a successful flight planning results from the ground infrastructure. With our solutions, we can also set the course for automated flights out of sight for this project and show how medical drones can support health care." 

"In order to establish a sustainable and future-oriented air transport service, it is important to acknowledge that we are not alone in this air space," said Sabrina John, project leader at GLVI. "In a metropolis like Hamburg, you permanently have to watch out for police and rescue helicopters. We are happy that we could contribute our years-long experience with air traffic control and air traffic management and bring all involved parties together." 

"Stable and, most importantly, safe drone flights rely on a sophisticated concept of operations," said Olaf Ronsdorf, project leader at Lufthansa Technik. "Thus, we are not only proud of having contributed our enormous experience from the field of manned and commercial aviation, but we also look forward to exploring new possibilities for future unmanned air transport solutions." 

"Drone-based tissue transports open up numerous new possibilities for us," said Dr. Tariq Nazar, ENT specialist at the Hospital of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg. "The ambulances we use for this task today are prone to Hamburg's sometimes challenging traffic conditions and hence sometimes suffer from unnecessary delays. Due to the fact that we require the pathologic results while the surgery is still ongoing, we appreciate the chance to significantly shorten the periods of anesthesia for our patients." 

"We are happy to partner in such a future-oriented project," said Ursula Störrle-Weiß, Managing Director of the MVZ medical center at Saint Mary's hospital, responsible for the Institute of Pathology. "The benefit of drone-based transportation of medical tissue is significant, especially in regard to the so-called ‘frozen sections' extracted during tumor operations, which need to be examined immediately. The sooner our pathology lab receives the samples, the faster we can provide the test results. Usually it takes no longer than 20 minutes before we can make a diagnosis, for example to determine whether a tumor is benignant or malignant or if the lymphatic glands are also affected. Achieving the shortest possible waiting times for our precise and safe diagnostics, is therefore a win-win situation for both surgeons and patients." 

In 2018, Hamburg was one of the first cities to join the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities (EIP-SCC) funded by the European Commission. Hamburg is therefore an official model region for the exploration of civil use cases and application fields for drones and other urban air transport technologies. 


Our latest news

19 Dec

EME Aero has obtained EASA 145 certification as maintenance shop

EME Aero, Engine Maintenance Europe service center, a 50/50 joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines, has completed the aviation authority certification process and obtained EASA 145 certification as a maintenance organization on 12th December, 2019. Site completion and the official open-ing of the company is planned for spring 2020.

This certification is a prerequisite for EME to start operations and work for customers around the world. The company will initially perform shop visits for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM GTF engine model. In the following years, the PW1500G and PW1900G models will be added to EME's portfolio.

EME Aero was founded less than two years ago. Since then, the company has completed var-ious milestones in the course of building one of the largest and most advanced MRO service centers for Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan engines worldwide. Both shareholders have invested nearly 150 million EUR. The shop, which is based on an efficient flow line principle, is designed for an annual capacity of up to 450 shop visits. The EME Aero workforce will also gradually grow as the numbers of in-service GTF engines increase. By 2026, EME is expected to have a workforce of around 1,000 employees.

Since the plot acquisition in March 2018 in Jasionka near Rzeszów, Poland, these twenty months have been devoted to the construction of a high-tech facility with one of the most modern test cells currently on the market. A professional organization has been established with a quality management system and the creation of a strong EME Aero employer brand-ing in the local Podkarpackie region. By the end of 2019, there will be more than 235 em-ployees on board who have been professionally trained in EME Aero Training Center and at the shareholders' sites in Germany.

26 Nov

MoU with All Nippon Airways for technical collaboration on Boeing 777-9

All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd (ANA) and Lufthansa Technik AG signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding a technical collaboration project for the Boeing  777-9. The Japanese carrier is one of the launching customers for the 777-9 while Lufthansa Technik is currently preparing its MRO readiness for the arrival of the first Lufthansa aircraft of this type planned in beginning of 2021.  

The collaboration shall contribute to the success of both companies and help to enable the best-in-class dispatch reliablity for ANA and for Lufthansa Technik's future customer fleet from day one of entry into service of the 777-9.  

The two partners have already identified different engineering and maintenance areas in which they want to collaborate or have even started to do so. In the entry-into-service phase of the aircraft the two companies want to share insights and best practice in engineering services and want to collaborate in aircraft production inspection. They will also cooperate in the fields of material planning and sharing, line maintenance services and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) support. Furthermore the partners plan to develop digital maintenance predictors on the technical base of AVIATAR, Lufthansa Technik's independent digital operations suite. Further upcoming fields of collaboration will constantly be discussed between the two companies.   

 "We are proud to work with Lufthansa Technik, a company with a reputation for excellence in maintenance operations, to introduce the Boeing 777-9, ANA's next-generation international aircraft," said Toshihiro Miyamae, Vice President of ANA Engineering and Maintenance Center.  "Combining the strengths of our respective companies will allow us to leverage our superior capabilities and experience to keep the Boeing 777-9 operating at peak efficiency. This exciting partnership will bring engineers from both companies together and make it possible for them to collaborate at a high level, which we believe will advance the relationship of ANA and Lufthansa Technik and serve as a foundation for innovation." 

David Doyle, Vice President Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Innovation Management at Lufthansa Technik added: "We are very proud to join forces with such a renowned airline and long time partner like ANA to prepare for the entry into service of the Boeing 777-9 in the best possible way. ANA has extensive operational experience with the current 777 and 787 aircraft generation. We are convinced that within our collaboration we will generate fast and early learnings as well as relevant insights for both companies. This knowledge will help Lufthansa Technik to efficiently support not only Lufthansa but also our other customers who will order the 777-9." 

Over the past years ANA and Lufthansa Technik have established a trustful partnership based on different contracts regarding technical component and landing gear support for a large part of ANA's aircraft fleet.   

26 Nov

Novair becomes first CFM LEAP-1A Engine Services customer of Lufthansa Technik

The Swedish charter carrier Nova Airlines AB (Novair) and Lufthansa Technik have signed a long-term exclusive Engine maintenance services contract for the CFM International LEAP-1A engines of Novair's two Airbus A321neo aircraft. Thereby, Novair has become the launching airline customer of Lufthansa Technik's technical services for this new engine type.  

Recently, Lufthansa Technik has received the approval for this engine type by the German federal aviation administration LBA (Luftfahrtbundesamt) and is now in the position to offer comprehensive technical support for the LEAP-1A.  

Covered by the new contract are different services, like engineering, overhaul and testing, mobile engine services (MES), engine parts repair and warranty handling.  

"The Novair operation is all about maximum aircraft use for our business, and minimum environmental effect for our legacy. Every decision and provider selection is scrutinized from these aspects. Lufthansa Technik's long-proven record with Novair has made Lufthansa Technik an essential partner and factor to our success. It is with a feeling of comfort, coming from a period of challenges on the LEAP-1A, we sign this contract with Lufthansa Technik. We look forward to a cooperation that, as it always has, will include Lufthansa Technik's non-compromising effort to learn and develop the service to a market-leader position in support, quality and value for money spent." said Anders Fred, CEO at Novair. 

"The signature of the first LEAP-1A contract is a real milestone for Lufthansa Technik. I would like to thank Novair for the trust they set in us and their willingness to extend our long standing relationship by the technical support for this new engine type," said Dietmar Focke, Vice President Engine Services at Lufthansa Technik. "We are ramping-up our capability and capacity to support our customers in the early phase of their operations and beyond. This agreement with Novair is another milestone to become one of the leading LEAP full service providers".  

Novair and Lufthansa Technik started their cooperation on V2500 engine services in 2005. Lufthansa Technik will be ready for the induction of the first LEAP-1A engines at its Hamburg facility by the end of this year. 

Under  its CBSA (CFM Branded Service Agreement) license Lufthansa Technik is able to offer the widest  range of services to its customers. 

Lufthansa Technik is an authorized LEAP-1A Service Provider licensed by CFM International.

21 Nov

APU Maintenance services for Japan Airlines A350 fleet

Lufthansa Technik and Japan Airlines (JAL) have signed an agreement on APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) Maintenance services for the carrier's Airbus A350 fleet. The five-year contracted services will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul with spare support for the APU HGT1700 Series. Currently JAL holds 31 firm orders and 25 options for the state-of-the-art long-range jet.

Kojiro Yamashita, Vice President of Procurement at Japan Airlines, said: "The Airbus A350 fleet are such a key fleet for Japan Airlines. We believe this agreement will bring us even more stable and smooth operations and the highest performance for our customers. Furthermore, it provides us added advantage of maintenance cost optimization and advance of engineering ability, while enhancing the long term partnership with Lufthansa Technik."

Gerald Steinhoff, Vice President Corporate Sales Asia Pacific at Lufthansa Technik, said: "I would like to thank Japan Airlines for their repeated trust placed in us and for their willingness to further expand our excellent relationship by this new contract. We will do our utmost to provide our customer with the technical readiness that will enable JAL to run its operations smoothly."

Japan Airlines' and Lufthansa Technik's longlasting partnership includes a variety of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. Among others, Lufthansa Technik has been providing component (TCS®) services for Japan Airlines' Boeing 787 fleet since 2011 and for the carrier's Airbus A350 since June 2019.

Lufthansa Technik is the official warranty station and partner of original equipment manufacturer Honeywell for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the HGT1700 APU. The company has a vast experience in APU overhauls and value-adding engineering services. Due to its in-house repair capability the company offers a significant cost reduction to it customers compared to a classic parts replacement.

The contract further strengthens Lufthansa Technik's position as the leading MRO services provider for the A350 in Europe and Asia. More than 100 airplanes from different customers already receive comprehensive technical support for components, auxiliary power units, airframe related components, engines and other parts of the aircraft.

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Dr Jens Krueger

Dr Jens Krueger

Head of Corporate Communications, Marketing and Political Affairs

Lufthansa Technik AG

Hamburg, Germany


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