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Oct 30, 2007 15:44 EEST
October 30 (SeeNews) - Lufthansa's maintenance, repair and overhaul unit Lufthansa Technik and the Bulgarian Aviation Group plan to open in late 2008 a joint 20 million euro ($28.8 million) aircraft maintenance centre in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, officials of the two companies said on Tuesday.
“Some 20 million euro will be invested in this […] We aim to carry out the first D-check of a Lufthansa airplane in October 2008,” Lufthansa Technik member of the executive board Thomas Stuger told a news conference.
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The centre, to be located at the international airport in Sofia, will service Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 aircraft and will be able to perform 20 D-Checks, which are the most difficult type of airplane checks, he said.
Lufthansa and the Bulgarian Aviation Group, which owns three air carriers, have set the joint venture company aiming to capitalise on the growing demand for this service, Stuger said.
The Bulgarian Aviation Group’s participation in the joint project is in line with the company’s plans to utilise opportunities for setting up joint ventures with local and foreign companies, the group's CEO Dimitar Pavlov told the news conference. The partnership with Lufthansa will help the group increase the quality of its own services, he added.
Stuger said Lufthansa saw great potential in the development of Bulgaria’s aviation sector and hoped the maintenance centre would attract also local clients. He added the company, in which Lufthansa owns an 80% stake, is expected to turn to profit in 2009.
Lufthansa Technik has no plans to set up more maintenance centres in the region of southeast Europe, as its facilities are enough to serve demand, Stuger said.
Lufthansa Technik Group, which serves more than 580 customers worldwide, had revenue of 3.4 billion euro in 2006, up 9.4% on the year.
($ = 0.6951 euro)
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