15 JANUARY 2003
By Marika Azzopardi
With an order book for 2003 practically full, Lufthansa Technik Malta is starting its business off with flying colours. Blue and yellow would be more appropriate, as a medley of people gathered in the shadow of an over-sized Airbus could well have appreciated last weekend. The Airbus was a Lufthansa A319-100 model, standing within the huge hangar that will be supporting the newest addition to the Lufthansa family Lufthansa Technik Malta. This is to be the baby out of a grand 23 companies forming the Lufthansa Technik group. Lufthansa Technick AG (LHT) is still a young company, which however enjoys outstanding world wide reputation for its quality, reliability, individualised customer service and technical excellence.
This exciting new venture was officially inaugurated last weekend by Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami. Also present were the Minister for Economic Services, the German Ambassador, plus both Air Maltas and Lufthansas Chairmen and Lufthansa Technik Maltas Chief Executive Officer Louis Giordimaina.
The Lufthansa Technik-Air Malta venture was accepted fully by Lufthansa in April 2002 and an agreement signed between the two companies in June of the same year. AirMaltas Chairman, Louis Grech, who is also taking on the chairmanship of Lufthansa Technik Malta, confirmed that the order book for 2003 is practically full and the company will working on a one-line operation system for the moment. This means that present facilities only cater for one aircraft to be handled at a time. However there are already plans to create the possibility of having two aircraft maintained in parallel by the year 2005/2006.
Mr Grech confirmed that the setting of the company necessitated the recruitment of 30 students arriving from a technical background. These were trained both in Malta and Frankfurt. He announced that additional recruits will be employed by mid-June, with a possibility for 50 or 60 recruits to gain employment.
The Chairman commented on the fact that there is a lack in the supply of skilled technicians and this issue will be attended to through training, development and marketing techniques. To support this a trainee scheme will be introduced shortly to cater for future requirements and to help produce skilled workers who could be absorbed within the Lufthansa Technik group.
The Prime Minister congratulated the new economic activity and said that the successful setting of the company was also thanks to the Maltese Governments full backing to the LufthansaTechnik AirMalta venture. He confirmed that the Ministry for Economic Services has taken concrete steps to include aircraft maintenance as one of the identified target sectors under the Business Promotion Act As a result, companies engaged in such activities can now benefit from the full package of fiscal and other incentives being provided under this Act.
This joint ventures launch comes during a year when the aviation industry is marking its 100 years of powered flight, auguring well for both countries to succeed in this adventure.