Lufthansa Technik aims to double business in Shenzhen on growth
Whenever a jet flies overhead while Wolfgang Breckau is playing golf in Shenzhen he stops and listens for a few seconds before deciding whether it is being powered by a Pratt & Whitney, a General Electric or a Rolls-Royce engine.
'I love planes so much,' says the Hamburg native who has spent 30 years working in aircraft hangars and is the driving force behind Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen.
The aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company of which he is president and chief executive is looking to more than double its operations on the strength of 10 to 15 per cent annual growth.
Lufthansa Technik is a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa Aviation Group, the world's biggest aircraft maintenance and repair company by revenue. Its sales topped Euro3.9 billion (HK$37.5 billion) last year, driven by 25,000 employees located in 30 maintenance centres around the globe.
Its sister company, Lufthansa, is the biggest carrier connecting the Greater China market with Europe.
The company's Shenzhen facility is not the biggest but is the most efficient, Breckau says. Today it has a staff of 220 people and has seen sales increase 20 times to US$30 million last year from 2004.
Breckau projected that revenue from the Shenzhen workshop would continue to outperform the global market due to the swift growth of airline fleets in the region. Based at Shenzhen Airport, the company occupies an area of 18,000 square metres including a 6,500 square metre hangar and has earmarked an adjacent plot of land for further expansion to 48,000 square metres.
Since mainland carriers have a younger fleet portfolio than most peers in the region, more than half of the business in Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen comes from non-mainland carriers. Its clients include Air China, Shenzhen Airlines, Hainan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Philippines Airlines and Garuda Indonesia.
Lufthansa Technik, which has invested more than Euro10 million in its Shenzhen operation, has a 90 per cent stake in the joint venture while Beijing Kailan Aviation Technology has the remainder.
However, the mainland partner is reportedly eager to double its stake back to where it was when the business was set up in 2000.
Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen achieved revenue last year of, in US dollars,: $30m