Lufthansa Technik planning a new operation in Celbridge

Minor aircraft engine repair business in Kildare could create up to 150 jobs

Lufthansa  employs more than 750 people in Shannon, Co Clare, where it overhauls aircraft and maintains engine parts. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty

Lufthansa employs more than 750 people in Shannon, Co Clare, where it overhauls aircraft and maintains engine parts. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty

 

Aircraft maintenance specialist Lufthansa Technik could create up to 150 jobs in a new operation it is planning for the Republic, it has emerged.

The company, part of German airline and aviation giant Lufthansa, employs more than 750 people in Shannon, Co Clare, where it overhauls aircraft and maintains engine parts.

It is understood Lufthansa Technik intends opening a new operation in Celbridge, Co Kildare, where it will focus on “minor” aircraft engine repair, that could employ up to 150 people.

Industry sources say the German company hopes to open the new plant early in 2020 and could announce plans in the first quarter of the year.

Lufthansa Technik may also attempt to lure back some of the 400 workers who lost their jobs when it closed an engine overhaul plant in Rathcoole, near Saggart, Co Dublin, in 2014.

The aviation group did not confirm any plans on Tuesday. Spokesman Wolfgang Reinert pointed out that its existing commitments showed the Republic was an important location for the company.

“Like other regions, also in Ireland, we regularly review if, and how, we can expand our operations,” he said.

Mr Reinert added that should Lufthansa Technik have concrete plans it would announce them.

State agency IDA Ireland, which focuses on attracting overseas companies to invest and create jobs in the Republic, declined to comment yesterday.

The German group employs more than 550 people at Lufthansa Technik Shannon Ltd, which maintains widely used aircraft such as the Boeing 737, 757 and 767, and Airbus A319, A320 and A321 for airlines around the world. Workers there are mainly engineers, aircraft maintenance technicians and managers.

Its other significant operation, Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon, repairs parts for turbines used in aircraft engines produced by leading manufacturers, CFMI and General Electric. That business employs around 200 workers. Lufthansa Technik also has a small engine leasing office in the Republic.

Lufthansa Technik was originally the engineering and maintenance division of German airline, Lufthansa, which spun it off in 1994. It remains a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The Hamburg-headquartered repair and maintenance business had sales of almost €6 billion last year. It has around 800 customers while its parent estimates that it supports around 5,000 aircraft around the world.

Aircraft maintenance and aviation services have been growing in the Republic in recent years, but face competition from other jurisdictions, particularly in the Far East.