On the occasion of the arrival of the first A320 from JetBlue Airways, the second launching customer of LTPR, a further overhaul line of the facility was opened on time. The presence of Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla, Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA, Dr. Peter Wittig, the German Ambassador to the U.S., and Simone Menne, member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, emphasised the importance of this strategic milestone for the aerospace location Puerto Rico and Lufthansa Technik. In their commemorative speeches the partners expressed their extraordinary satisfaction about the optimal realization of the project, with a ground breaking ceremony just one year ago.
“Congratulations to the teams from Puerto Rico and Lufthansa Technik who worked so hard to make this facility a reality,” said Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA. “It is an honor to meet so many of the new employees in person and celebrate what they have achieved so far. This investment is creating new jobs with valuable training and opportunities for growth, and that means a lot to the families here.” SelectUSA – a U.S. Department of Commerce effort to encourage, facilitate, and accelerate business investment in the United States – partnered with Puerto Rico in the process to establish Lufthansa Technik’s operations in the Island.
Final Configuration of Five Overhaul Lines By 2017
Currently, LTPR employs more than 200 people at Rafael Hernández International Airport in Aguadilla. When reaching the final configuration of five overhaul lines in early 2017, LTPR will offer up to highly qualified 400 jobs for local employees. From 2017 on, the company will also offer overhaul services for the Boeing 737 family in addition to the Airbus A320 family.
Launch Customer: Spirit Airlines
Since 21 July, LTPR is already working on Airbus narrow-body aircraft from Spirit Airlines, with 10 aircraft overhauled, so far. With the second line being operational now, LTPR plans to overhaul another 10 aircraft from Spirit and JetBlue until end of 2015.
“As the largest airline in Puerto Rico, we are honored to share this milestone with Lufthansa Technik. With nearly one third of our network now located in Latin America and the Caribbean, it makes good business sense for us to work with a heavy maintenance business partner in the region,” said Jeffrey Martin, executive vice president, operations, JetBlue. “By supporting Lufthansa Technik’s expansion in Aguadilla, we are not only making an investment in our heavy maintenance plans, we’re helping to ensure jobs which will lead to economic growth in the area.”
The project has become a cornerstone of the growing Puerto Rico aerospace industry that already includes a dozen of companies and employs approximately 3,500 people. Puerto Rico has driven extraordinary efforts to build a strong business ecosystem revolving around this industry, with specific efforts to link local SMEs with companies such as LTPR. Also, the new Aerospace and Aviation Institute of Puerto Rico, built next to the LTPR project in Aguadilla, has started offering training courses for future aviation mechanics.
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