Lufthansa Technik AG and Virgin Blue have signed a three-year exclusive agreement on an innovative repair procedure for CFM56-7B engines used on Boeing 737NGs of which Virgin Blue, including its Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue entities, operates a fleet of 60 aircraft. All repair work will be carried out by Lufthansa Technik's Airline Support Teams (AST®), based at its Melbourne subsidiary LTQ Engineering.
Inspections of this engine type are typically carried out after 24,000 flight hours, but the Variable Stator Vane (VSV) bushings usually show signs of wear between 16,000 and 20,000 operating hours.
To avoid in-flight shutdowns due to these adverse effects while at the same time avoiding a costly shop visit for the affected engines, the AST®-Teams provide an in-country solution to replace the VSV bushings. "These are performed within an attractive short turnaround time, thereby minimising the burden on Virgin Blue's spare engine program," says Brian Sharp, Virgin Blue's General Manager Engineering and Maintenance Operations.
LTQ Engineering is a Joint Venture between Lufthansa Technik and Qantas offering overhauls and services for the CF6-80E1, CF6-80C2, CFM56-3 and CFM56-7 engine types. In addition, the facility offers AST® services to customers in Australia and the Asia Pacific region and further services for Boeing 747 flap tracks and carriages. LTQ Engineering holds the approvals of several aviation authorities, including the CAAC, CAAP, CASA, EASA and the FAA.
The new contract carries forward a long and successful partnership between Lufthansa Technik and Australia's second largest airline. Lufthansa Technik currently supports Virgin Blue on an exclusive Landing Gear overhaul and exchange program for the 737NG-fleet.