DTI sees PH as future aircraft MRO hub, backs Lufthansa Technik expansion plan

DTI sees PH as future aircraft MRO hub, backs Lufthansa Technik expansion plan
Lufthansa Technik Philippines’ planned expansion means 300 new jobs in the aircraft MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) industry. (Photo courtesy of Lufthansa Technik Philippines)

DTI sees PH as future aircraft MRO hub,
backs Lufthansa Technik expansion plan

By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF

The Philippines can well position itself as an aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) hub in Asia Pacific.

This was the assertion of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez when he spoke in support of Lufthansa Technik Philippines’ expansion plan in the country during a meeting with the firm’s top executives last July 11.

“The Philippines is positioning itself as the hub for aerospace manufacturing and aftermarket services in the Asia Pacific Region. We have the young, educated, and highly-trainable workforce that is a boon to investors. If we achieve this goal, we can increase our high-value exports and provide decent jobs to more Filipinos,” said Lopez.

Lufthansa, a registered MRO company in the Philippines, has been in the country for 20 years, with a 229,000 square-meter lot inside Villamor Airbase and employing 3,200 people.

The company is planning a 9,000 square meter expansion in the area worth $40 million (about P2.04 billion) and will add 300 jobs. The expansion will be completed 13 months after they award the contract.

Lufthansa President and CEO Elmar Lutter said that the global MRO market is expected to continuously grow by 4-5 percent per year, one third of which will come from the Asia Pacific Region.

“The competitive advantage of the Philippines is its people,” said Lutter. Filipinos, he said, are known as skilled aircraft mechanics not just in the Philippines but in the world.

Still, the Lufthansa boss emphasized how job opportunities in other industries and the growing global demand for MRO skilled workers may lead to a labor shortage in the Philippine MRO industry.

Lufthansa is no stranger to the country as it also operates in Cebu, Davao, Pampanga, Palawan, and Aklan.

The company enjoys fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. These incentives helps Lufthansa deal with challenges in such as stiff competition in the Asia Pacific Region and the logistical costs of operating in an island country, Lutter said.

For his part, Lopez said he expects Lufthansa’s expansion plans to help the Philippines become an aerospace and MRO hub in the Asia Pacific region.

Also at the meeting were DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman, Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco, Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen Perlada, and Assistant Director Anthony Rivera.

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