Lufthansa Technik eyeing Bulacan, Cavite expansion

Lufthansa Hanga — COMPANY HANDOUT

LUFTHANSA Technik Philippines, Inc. (LTP) is eyeing to expand outside the National Capital Region (NCR), with new airports to be built in Cavite and Bulacan as potential locations for its aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services hubs, the company’s chief executive officer said.

“In the Philippines, in Luzon, besides NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), [there is] currently only Clark,” LTP President and Chief Executive Officer Elmar Lutter told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the formal opening of the company’s new hangar in Pasay City.

“But you know, two more airport projects are being contemplated, Bulacan and Sangley ports, and we are observing what is happening,” he added.

LTP, a joint venture of Germany’s Lufthansa Technik AG and Lucio C. Tan-led MacroAsia Corp., inaugurated on Friday its Hangar 1A, a 9,000-square-meter facility in Pasay City, after nearly two years of delay caused by the pandemic.

In terms of capacity, Hangar 1A adds three lines to the existing seven base maintenance lines in NCR, according to the company. It adds 20% to LTP’s capacity and allows it to employ at least 275 more personnel.

The new facility is designed to provide base maintenance for various commercial aircraft of short- to long-range capacities, including Airbus jets A320, A330, A380, and the Boeing 777.

“The Philippines is an excellent place for aviation with Asia’s oldest airline, Philippine Airlines, its tradition, infrastructure, and the depth and the breadth of its talent pool. Resilience has been invented here,” Mr. Lutter said.

LTP provides aircraft MRO services at various airports in the country, including NAIA, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, and Puerto Princesa Airport, among others.

“We are optimistic to soon further grow our business again,” Mr. Lutter noted. “We have reached our limits here at NAIA.”

“We will seek discussions with possible partners and explore possibilities in the Philippines and beyond with the end in mind to add affordable high-quality MRO to our region and deliver safety and reliability to our customers,” he added.

In April, MacroAsia said LTP’s maintenance volumes are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels this year.

“Foreign airline clients that have opted to delay their heavy maintenance programs in the midst of the pandemic starting 2020 have been recalling their stowed planes into service,” the company said in its annual report.

“The line maintenance business, which is essentially airport-flight driven will follow the airport volume growth in NAIA, Cebu, Clark, and Davao where LTP operates,” it noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin