HAMBURG, Germany -- Lufthansa Technik, a MRO provider for airplanes, components, and engines, has opened its new overhaul facility Lufthansa Technik Sofia Ltd. in Bulgaria. The new company, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik AG (80 percent) and Bulgarian Aviation Group (20 percent), is based at the airport of the Bulgarian capital Sofia. Workers will perform base maintenance checks on Airbus and Boeing short and medium range aircraft.
Lufthansa Technik, together with the Bulgarian Aviation Group, has invested more than 20 Mio. Euro in the refurbishment of the hangar, the dock facilities, tooling and working materials, as well as in the training of the employees. The hangar has 6.000m2 of floor space and allows work to proceed on two narrowbody aircraft at a time. It is possible to paint aircraft on the spot.
Lufthansa Technik Sofia offers base maintenance services for the Airbus A320 family and for Boeing 737 aircraft, including the 737 Classic and the 737 NG (Next Generation). The MRO company starts with an IL2-Check of an Airbus A321 of its premium customer Lufthansa. However Lufthansa Technik Sofia will also serve further customers from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in the future.
"Today, with the arrival of the first aircraft for a heavy check, Lufthansa Technik Sofia becomes operational," says Dr. Thomas Stueger, Chief Executive Product & Services of Lufthansa Technik AG. "Management and staff can be really proud of what they have achieved over the past twelve months. They have done a great job to make this facility run. I would also like to thank our partner, the Bulgarian Aviation Group, and especially the Bulgarian government for their comprehensive assistance."
"We are very proud to cooperate with Lufthansa Technik which enjoys an impeccable reputation in the MRO industry," says Dimitar Pavlov, Executive Director of Bulgarian Aviation Group. "Together we will turn our joint venture into a track record. The Bulgarian Aviation Group can contribute with its longtime experiences and vast knowledge of the Bulgarian aviation market to the success of our Joint Venture."
Lufthansa Technik Sofia will employ more than 350 mechanics and engineers. Training has been carried out by the local Civil Aviation Training Centre in consultation with Lufthansa Technik.
"All employees have done a tremendous job over the past months, from doing training courses and working under construction conditions to the preparation of the hangar to start work on the first aircraft right on time," says Bernd Freckmann, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik Sofia. "Without the assistance of the whole team this couldn't have been realized."
As a member of the existing global MRO network of Lufthansa Technik, which numbers 30 companies, the new company will serve as another supporting pillar for base maintenance services for short- and medium-range aircraft in Europe. To date Lufthansa Technik has altogether four base maintenance facilities in Europe: Berlin-Schoenefeld Maintenance Centre, Lufthansa Technik Malta, Shannon Aerospace, and Lufthansa Technik Budapest.