LTP Opens A380 Checks

February 12, 2012

By Recto Mercene

Qantas A380 to make port of call in April

President Aquino pushes the throttle of amake-believe A380 during the inauguration of the $30-million Lufthansa Technik Philippines hangar on Friday night. Among his “passengers” were (from left) LTP Chairman Washington Sycip, Lucio Tan (partly hidden), Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II and LTP Chairman of the Executive Board August Wilhelm Henningsen.
PRESIDENT Aquino  on Saturday piloted a make-believe Airbus A380 during the inauguration of Lufthansa Technik Philippines’s (LTP) maintenance hangar, throwing the wooden throttle of the giant airplane into full power, and taking to the skies to tour a virtual world projected on a giant screen.
The plane soars to the skies and took them to Australia, South America, Africa, Europe and the United States before finally landing in the Philippines.

Sitting behind him as passengers were the entire executive board headed by Chairman Washington Sycip, and board members Lucio Tan, August Wilhelm Henningsen, Joseph Chua, Dr. Peter Jansen, Soeren Stark and Gerald Frielinghaus.

The venue is the newly built, $30-million A380 hangar, one of only four in the world, and at 8,500 square meter area, with a height of 35 meters, is dubbed the largest hangar in the country. It offers space to work simultaneously on one widebody and two narrowbody aircraft.

Mr. Aquino lauded the hard work and the vigorous planning of LTP and Philippines MacroAsia Corp., a joint venture between the German firm, which has a 51 percent stake, and Lucio Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. with 49 percent share.

“I want to emphasize that this is not just any hangar. This is a hangar built to service the Airbus A380—the biggest passenger airliner in the world,” Mr. Aquino said.
He added that the hangar makes the Philippines one of the few locations around the world capable of providing maintenance service to the A380.

Earlier, Executive Board Chairman August Wilhelm Henningsen said that with the new hangar, the country would be able to keep up with the increasing demand for technical services for long-haul Airbus aircraft, particularly in the Asian market.

Washington Sycip, chairman of LTP Philippines, said “the opening of the new hangar service reaffirms the Filipino aviation worker’s place among the world’s best and underscores LTP’s long-term plans of operating in the Philippines.

The hangar is the fourth maintenance bay in the same location at the former Villamor Air Base. It’s specialty is the maintenance, repair and overhaul of all types of the Airbus family, the A320, A330, A340 and A380.
The joint venture started with a capitalization of P5 million in 2000 and 1,300 personnel, which has now grown to 2,700 of which 99 percent are highly skilled Filipino technicians and engineers.

“This is a big step for LTP. Since initially investing more than P5 billion here in the country in 2000, you have invested billions more, and have given livelihoods to thousands of our countrymen.” Mr. Aquino said. The hangar’s first customer would be an A380 from Qantas, which would undergo cabin modification in April this year.

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