New Delhi: Lufthansa Technik, the world's largest maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, is set to launch a facility in the country as a joint venture with the Hyderabad-based GMR Group. Once in operation, it will become the country's first foreign-owned maintenance facility.
Lufthansa Technik will hold a 75 per cent stake in the facility, while GMR will hold the rest. The 20,000 square meter facility will be located at the new Shamshabad-based Hyderabad international airport.
The facility will provide base maintenance services (including C- and D-checks) for Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 family aircraft, including the 737 Classic and the 737 NG. The facility is expected to commence operations by end-2008.
Currently, Lufthansa Technik serves Indian carriers through its facilities outside the country.
Lufthansa said that it will immediately commence training of highly qualified technicians and aircraft engineers. It has already initiated a dialogue with technical institutes in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The firm is looking to employ a staff of around 400 and expects to establish Hyderabad as a hub for its operations.
According to the company spokesperson, the new venture will be a member of Lufthansa Technik's existing worldwide MRO network of 28 ventures.
The company already has Jet Airway's entire Boeing 737 fleet on contract under its Total Component Support (TCS) programme.
Lufthansa Technik's TCS programme has also been contracted by Jet Airways for the support of three Airbus A340-300 jets, including personnel assignments for the ground handling of the aircraft in India and abroad.
Kingfisher Airlines is another client to whom Lufthansa Technik provides a comprehensive MRO package.
Lufthansa provides TCS for the entire flee of Kingfisher's single aisle Airbus aircraft. It also provides Kingfisher its aircraft production inspection program (APIP) for its operational A320 fleet and the about to be inducted wide-body A330 and A340 aircraft.
Apart from this, Lufthansa Technik also provides TCS to the country's first low cost carrier, Air Deccan for its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, through a ten year contract.
According to industry analysts, the Indian MRO market is projected to report a turnover of around $100 million this year and is expected to grow by at least 15% over the next three years. They say that India may soon have at least nine new MRO facilities, including those by Airbus and the Boeing Company.
The Indian civil aviation sector currently has around 400 aircraft on order, making it one of the world's fastest growing aviation markets. The order size is expected to double over the next couple of years.