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Support for VIP, business and government aircraft has a tradition at Lufthansa Technik that goes back over 50 years. The main base of the VIP & Executive Jet Solutions business unit is in Hamburg and covers the areas of maintenance, design and production. As an all-in-one supplier for technical inspections, cabin upgrades, conversions, maintenance, overhaul and painting, Lufthansa Technik is able to offer VIP customers unique solutions for their aircraft. These include the production of custom-tailored interiors for single-aisle aircraft, widebody aircraft and smaller business jets. The types handled range from the Challenger, Learjet, Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) and Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) families to the Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 – and now the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 as well.
The quality of work is guaranteed by approvals from over 30 aviation authorities, including the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
In case of most VIP aircraft completions, the aircraft is brought directly from the manufacturer to the Completion Center, virtually without any interior fittings.
In the run-up to turning the empty aircraft into a “flying palace” the interior plans are developed in consultation with the customer. After this period of intense negotiation, in which the customer’s wishes and requirements are together fleshed out and agreed down to the last detail, Lufthansa Technik’s design engineers develop and build the entire cabin interior, complying with all the pertinent certification requirements, for example fire resistance and safe mountings. Throughout this period Lufthansa Technik and the customer are involved in a continuous and close dialogue to ensure that any problems that arise can be discussed and eliminated as quickly as possible.
One important aspect of planning the cabin interior for a VIP aircraft is the supply of a premium-grade in-flight entertainment and cabin management system. The Lufthansa Technik Cabin Innovation Center has, amongst other things, specialized in the development and production of such in-flight entertainment systems. Lufthansa Technik is one of the leading international suppliers in this area on account of its nice® product. Based on an ethernet network, the system makes it possible to control and coordinate audio, video and digital process data in VIP and business jets of all sizes. Cabin room temperature, ventilation and lighting can be controlled centrally along with all the entertainment and communications electronics. Switches integrated into the seat and/or a wireless operating unit with a touch-sensitive screen are used to operate DVD and CD players, iPods, LCD screens, sound equipment, cameras, detailed 3D maps in HD quality and audio/video data, as required.
As well as a top-class entertainment and information system, the quality of the cabin furnishings is particularly important in a completion. The furniture and cabin layout are developed and built in dedicated workshops at Lufthansa Technik, e.g. in specialist joinery or upholstery shops, and by well-known external suppliers. Once the unique specimens of the furniture have been fabricated, the interior is installed in the Completion Center. 500 highly specialized engineers and technicians are employed here just to deal with aircraft completions. Following extensive test phases on the ground and in the air and final acceptance by the authorities and the customer, the aircraft can now leave Lufthansa Technik as a luxury aircraft offering the ultimate in travel comfort.
In addition to the main base of VIP & Executive Jet Solutions in Hamburg, Lufthansa Technik AG has a further subsidiaries that are active in the VIP and business jet areas, in Berlin Schoenefeld and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) in Berlin is the leading specialist for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of Bombardier business jets and looks after some 300 aircraft from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS states.
BizJet International of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the USA offers maintenance services for business jets up to the BBJ and ACJ. BizJet has recently expanded its competence in cabin modifications and completions by adding Airbus ACJ318 completions. Lufthansa Technik is the official partner for cabin completions in this Airbus program.
On the basis of a global network that encompasses over 30 operating subsidiaries and joint ventures, Lufthansa Technik is able to offer its VIP customers a unique quality of service. Along with the assurance of geographic proximity, a major advantage is the fact that Lufthansa Technik’s workforce can draw on decades of experience in the maintenance and overhaul of a wide variety of commercial aircraft. Lufthansa Technik knows the weak points of many aircraft types as well if not even better than the manufacturers concerned and is able to offer appropriate solutions for technical problems. This expertise is supplemented by a broad spectrum of modular services that customers can call on, from individual services such as component support or engine maintenance to all-included service packages under which Lufthansa Technik covers the entire technical side. This could start as early as advising on the purchase of a new aircraft and then progress through support with flight planning and technical documentation to the supply of spare parts worldwide.