Virgin America, the new U.S. start-up airline and Lufthansa Technik AG, the world-wide leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the air transport industry, today announced a new ten-year Total Material Operations TMO and Line Maintenance support contract, valued at more than 250 million US dollars.
The new low-cost airline, based in San Francisco, expects to commence operations in summer this year. Lufthansa Technik will provide support services throughout their network. Virgin America will operate 31 new Airbus A320 family aircraft, for which the airline has options for a further 71 aircraft.
Virgin America has become the first passenger airline to contract with Lufthansa Technik for its newest spares and consumables service package, known as Total Material Operations TMO. Under the contract - the widest-ranging of its type to date - Lufthansa Technik will establish central component and supplies depots at Virgin America main bases at San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and subsequently at all the airline's stations throughout the country. Lufthansa Technik employees at San Francisco and New York will supply all maintenance stations throughout the network with line-replaceable units, consumables and expendables, including cabin interior furnishings and fittings. Virgin America will be able to call upon more than 4,000 different types of components. The service portfolio embraces both the routine provision of components and unplanned replacements such as thrust reversers and other large items.
To support the Total Material Operations TMO contract Lufthansa Technik will also take over the supervision of Virgin America's line maintenance operation in the United States. In the first phase this will include San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Washington D.C. (IAD) and San Diego (SAN). In addition the airline will take advantage of the new Technical Op-erations WebSuite manage/m, which allows Virgin America to manage all core functions of their fleet's technical operations as an entirely web-based system.
Guy Borowski, Virgin America's Senior Vice President Technical Operations said: "To be an airline people love, we will provide high-quality, innovative, creative travel experiences to guests who will appreciate our value-driven approach. Likewise, when choosing service partner organizations we look for a combination of experience, professionalism and commitment. That is why we chose Lufthansa Technik as our supplier for spares and consumables; together, we will be ready for take-off this summer."
"Virgin America's ambitious business plan places high demands on an aircraft tech-nical support organization, especially when it comes to passengers and fleet technical availability. At the same time, the conclusion of this important contract in the USA - the world's biggest market for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul - shows the considerable savings that can be achieved by an airline if it contracts with a specialist MRO organization that already serves a large core fleet of aircraft and with a wide range of services," said August W. Henningsen, chairman of Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik AG, during the traditional MRO USA press breakfast.
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