Lufthansa Technik is considering shifting a significant amount of A318 Elite cabin completion work to its US maintenance, completions and handling subsidiary, BizJet International, in an effort to fulfil a booming orderbook for the smallest member of the A320-based Airbus Corporate Jetliner family.
The A318 Elite workload could even see the German maintenance, repair and overhaul specialist make an announcement about extending the capabilities of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based BizJet as early as this May´s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva.
An LHT source confirms the company is examining an A318 Elite role for its US division, whose main business areas are engine overhaul and small jet cabin completions. "We are thinking of doing a part of the business at the BizJet centre, extending their capability. They have hangar space available there and already have experience of working on the Boeing Business Jet."
LHT boss August Henningsen reported at the company´s recent annual results meeting that its Hamburg completion centre was running at full capacity, focused on work for a 747 and the A318 Elite programme, which was launched in November 2005. Henningsen said contracts had been signed for the completion of 11 of the 20 Elites sold.
The healthy status of LHT´s Elite orderbook could also see a third completion line added at Hamburg, because conversion work on 12 green Bombardier CRJ200-based Challenger 850 business jets is approaching completion after the manufacturer was awarded the business back in 2005.
Swiss VIP operator Comlux took delivery of the first A318 Elite last May. The CFM International CFM56-5B-powered aircraft, the first of five on order, was outfitted at Lufthansa Technik´s Hamburg facility with a VIP cabin seating up to 18 passengers.