BizJet International, Lufthansa Technik's hundred percent US subsidiary, has delivered its first Airbus A318 Elite after the completion of the aircraft had been finalized on schedule at the end of 2009. The A318 Elite, which is provided with a FAA- and EASA-Supplemental Type Certificate, has been equipped with a VIP Cabin-Interior during its seven-month completion.
Work on the second of a total of eight Airbus A318 Elites, which so far have been contracted by BizJet, already started in January. This aircraft will be handed over in midyear 2010. Six other A318 Elites will be delivered to Airbus until the end of 2013.
"Airbus is delighted with this first cabin-outfitting of an A318 Elite by Bizjet International, which highlights the smooth transfer of this capability from Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg to Tulsa," says Airbus Vice President for Corporate Jets and VIP Programmes Arnaud Martin. "This marks a new milestone in the co-operation between Lufthansa Technik and Airbus, as well as in the success and maturity of the Airbus A318 Elite programme," he adds.
"With the on time completion of the first A318 Elite and the successful handover, BizJet has established itself as the Lufthansa Technik Completion Center for this aircraft-type. Therefore the smooth transfer of responsibility for this successful program from Hamburg to Tulsa is ensured", says August Wilhelm Henningsen, CEO Lufthansa Technik. "Additionally, as a result of upgrading its portfolio, BizJet sets the stage to expand its business in the important U.S. market."
At its Hamburg site Lufthansa Technik has already outfitted and delivered nine A318 Elites. After the completion of the tenth A318 Elite, which is expected to begin end of January the programme will expire in Hamburg mid-2010. Further completions of this aircraft type will then be done at BizJet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Hamburg Lufthansa Technik will then focus on the highly customized outfitting of narrow and widebody VIP corporate jets.
BizJet invested about three million USD in the expansion of its infrastructure, i.e. extension of shops and acquisition of new machines as well as employee training. "Due to the on-schedule delivery, these expenses are utterly justified", says Bernd Kowalewski, President and CEO at BizJet. "I would like to thank the team for the dedication and the excellent work over the past months.
Now, our company has established a good basis for further extension of the VIP Business. A program which is as successful as the A318 Elite will attract also a lot of potential customers in the American market."
With 200 employees, BizJet, part of the Lufthansa Technik Group since 2000, offers the complete spectrum of MRO services for VIP and business aircraft, plus comprehensive fixed base operator services. Beside its completion capabilities the company's portfolio also includes modernisation and refurbishment of cabin interiors in the second life market. BizJet has a total of 32,000 square meters of hangar capacity and a variety of workshops for servicing and outfitting the aircraft.
About the Airbus 318 Elite programme
The A318 Elite, a derivate of the smallest airliner of the Airbus A320 family, is the newest member of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) Family. It was launched in November 2005, and since then more than 25 aircraft have been ordered by customers from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The A318 Elite is unique in bringing the space and comfort previously only associated with much larger jets, to a much broader market. The A318 Elite features an optimised cabin, designed and produced in co-operation with Lufthansa Technik. The A318 Elite has a range of more than 4,200 nm/7,800 km, allowing it to fly coast-to-coast within the USA, and to fly non-stop between London and New York.
The first aircraft equipped in Tulsa/Oklahoma will be delivered to Airbus with an FAA- and EASA-Supplemental Type Certificate for delivery to the customer.
Beside the cooperation in the ACJ318 program both companies also work regularly together in the highly individual VIP completion business for the A320 - and the A330 / A340 - families.
According to the current state of orders a further eight A318 Elites will be completed by Lufthansa Technik by the end of 2013.
Award recognizes the best of the Airbus Approved Outfitting Centers in 2012.