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.
Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Senior Vice President Component Services for Lufthansa Technik AG added: "This contract represents the first full implementation of our forward-looking integrated Total Material Operations TMO product. It will establish a coast-to-coast supply network throughout the United States, covering everything from the smallest part to a complete landing gear. We will have up to 20 employees on duty around the clock, seven days a week, to ensure that flight operations proceed without a hitch - and with the successful growth of Virgin America there will be more jobs at our US facilities on the horizon."
Virgin America and Lufthansa Technik will link their IT systems to ensure full interchange of all relevant data. In addition, Lufthansa Technik will be fully integrated in flight operations with a full-time presence in the airline's operations control center. Experience shows that such arrangements guarantee rapid provision of spares and consumables at all line maintenance stations, even if the aircraft affected is still in flight. Components are dispatched and distributed with maximum efficiency, raising the efficiency and reliability of flight operations.
Lufthansa Technik is now setting up a distribution network for the routine supply of line maintenance bases with components from the central pools in San Francisco and New York. The Lufthansa Technik Logisitik business division of Hamburg, Germany, will transport all components requiring overhaul or repair to the Lufthansa Technik workshops in Germany.
Lufthansa Technik subsidiaries in the USA will also provide support services in order to make best use of the rapid logistics chain. For example, Hawker Pacific of Sun Valley, California, specialises on the maintenance and overhaul of landing gear and hydro-mechanical components.
The first wide-ranging Total Component Support TCS contract in the USA was established in 2004. Lufthansa Technik already maintains a spares pool in Florida from which it also serves customers in Central and South Americas. This service has also been developed and expanded as the Total Material Operations TMO and provides an all-embracing vertical and horizontal integration, enabling an airline to concentrate fully on its core business - flying aircraft. The full service rollout in the USA increases the availability of this product worldwide for low-fare, charter and network carriers.
About Virgin America
Virgin America, a 'new generation' low-fare airline, intends to launch scheduled domestic airline service in 2007 upon government approval. U.S.-owned and operated, Virgin America is based at San Francisco International Airport, has taken delivery of 11 Airbus A320 family aircraft and has firm orders for a further 20. Aspiring candidates can visit www.virginamerica.com to learn more about joining the Virgin America team.
About Lufthansa Technik
As a leading provider in the maintenance, repair and overhaul business for commercial and VIP aircraft, Lufthansa Technik serves more than 580 customers around the globe. The Lufthansa Technik Group employing some 25,000 in total worldwide (1,600 in the United States) is a network of 27 com-panies and more than 60 line maintenance stations worldwide. In the United States of America the Lufthansa Technik Group operates with its subsidiaries and affiliates Hawker Pacific (landing gear & component services in Sun Valley, California), BizJet International (business jet, avionics & engines services in Tulsa, Oklahoma), Lufthansa Technik Composite Tulsa (thrust reverser MRO in Tulsa, Oklahoma), AirLiance Materials (parts management in Chicago, Illinois), HEICO (parts manufacturer and component repair group in Hollywood, Florida), and Lufthansa Technik Component Services (component services in Sun Valley, California and Florida).