LTAA SHARES ITS KEYS TO EFFECTIVE PW100/150A CUSTOMER SUPPORT
P&WC’s designated overhaul facilities are an integral part of its support network—including Germany’s Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey (LTAA), which has delivered world-class services for PW100/150A turboprops for the past 30 years.
OFFERING TOTAL SUPPORT TO CUSTOMERS WORLDWIDE
The Rheinhessen region is renowned for producing some of Germany’s finest wines, but that’s not its only claim to fame. The rolling hills and green vineyards southwest of Frankfurt are also home to world-class engine maintenance and repair services, for it’s here that you’ll find Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey (LTAA). In recognition of its 30th anniversary as a P&WC PW100/PW150A Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF), Airtime spoke to LTAA to find out more about its keys to supporting operators to keep them coming back.
Formerly known as DLT Aero Service GmbH, LTAA is a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik. The 600 employees at its four-hangar, 9,700 square metre facility offers maintenance, overhauls, repairs, testing and other engine services, mainly for small- to medium-haul regional aircraft—including aircraft powered by PW100 and PW150A turboprop engines. It services roughly 400 engines per year.
Our philosophy is to be flexible, to customize our services to our customers’ demands. We have the capabilities to handle everything from basic overhauls to total engine support.
CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR CUSTOMERS’ REAL WORLD CHALLENGES
LTAA’s customer-first approach means it does whatever it can to accommodate the operator’s situation, in order to deliver the fastest, most cost-efficient services it can.
Stephan Neubach, Head of P&WC Customer Support Engineering, recalls a situation a couple of years ago. A customer needed an engine repaired late on a Friday afternoon. The work couldn’t be done on-wing, meaning a rental engine was necessary. LTAA didn’t have one on site—so instead they organized a charter flight to bring one in right away. Thanks to this creative solution, the customer’s aircraft was available in time for its next revenue flight.
More recently, a customer flying an ATR aircraft repeatedly experienced issues with an engine that performed perfectly well when LTAA tested it in the shop. Despite the test results and LTAA’s suggestions, the issues persisted. LTAA therefore arranged to visit the customer, along with representatives of P&WC and ATR, to perform troubleshooting on site where it was discovered that the installation steps most probably had not been followed correctly. As a result and in addition, a hidden plug in a line replacement unit (LRU) was partially blocking the fuel flow.
“We stayed overnight and did a complete troubleshooting run afterward to make sure there were no problems. Since then, everything has worked fine and everyone is happy. This kind of team effort is exactly how a support network should work,” Stephan says.
Over the years, LTAA has also demonstrated its willingness to adapt its business to reflect the evolution of the aviation industry. For instance, it has introduced a new digital system that gives customers access to key information, such as the status of the engine or parts in the shop, cost estimates and maintenance options. Information can be downloaded and printed out, and all data is archived for future reference.
The customer is number one. They drive our business. If they’re happy, they will bring their engines back again. That’s why we work very hard on communication and on making turnaround times reliable and predictable. Our goal is to ensure customers are well informed and do not have any surprises.
INCREASED CUSTOMER INFLUENCE
LTAA believes communication is critical to supporting its customers, but that the communication model is changing and maintenance organizations must adapt.
“Compared to 10 or 15 years ago, customers have more influence over details such as turnaround times, costs and work scoping,” comments Martin. “They decide with us about what repairs to do or whether to use new or used parts.”
As part of LTAA’s focus on strong communication, its engineering personnel are expected to be more than technical experts. They also double as customer service representatives, handling inquiries about everything from work scoping to billing. This enables customers to get all the information they need from a single contact person.
For Stephan, meanwhile, talking to P&WC is an integral part of his day-to-day work to best serve his customers. “We have very open, constructive communication and a productive working relationship with P&WC,” he remarks.