P-Noy inaugurates $30-M Lufthansa hangar
- Aurea Calica () - February 12, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino on Friday inaugurated the $30-million hangar of Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) for Airbus 380, the biggest passenger airliner in the world today.

He said the new investment would officially make the Philippines one of the few locations around the world capable of providing maintenance service to such aircraft.

“This is a big step for LTP. Since initially investing more than P5 billion here in the country in 2000, you have invested billions more, and have given livelihoods to thousands of our countrymen,” Aquino said in his speech during the inauguration held at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.

“Our people can be confident that their government is doing everything in its power to achieve the goals of an equitably progressive Philippines. The dream here is to totally rebuild our nation by giving all our people a chance to live dignified lives. And as we set to achieve this, we must think about the engineers and technicians who work long hours to successfully develop the Airbus A380,” he said.

LTP’s expansion in the Philippines signifies its confidence in the country and its Filipino work force, the Chief Executive said.

The President added that the liberalization of the aviation industry was one of the key reforms being initiated by the administration.

The government is also continuously working to upgrade the country’s infrastructure so that more and more airline companies will enter the Philippines for the benefit of the entire economy, he added.

“We must think about the contractors who made this inauguration possible, for giving 400 of our most talented workers the chance to display their skills to the rest of the world,” the President said.

“Through them we are made to believe again. These people are evidence that no matter how grand or how long-term our goals for this country may be, if we sit down and put our hearts and minds and work towards them, then our dreams will become reality sooner rather than later,” he noted.

Aquino also mentioned three sectors seen by the government as major drivers of inclusive growth by providing jobs. These are tourism, agriculture and infrastructure.

LTP, a joint venture of German firm Lufthansa Technik and Philippine MacroAsia Corp., is one of the largest providers of aircraft maintenance services in Asia. The new LTP maintenance hangar would mean 400 new jobs for Filipinos in addition to its current workforce of 2,700.

An Airbus specialist, LTP will start maintenance works and cabin modifications for A380, currently the biggest aircraft in the world that could accommodate up to 800 passengers.

LTP services more than 50 airlines in the world, doing comprehensive technical services including lease return checks and cabin modifications for different Airbus aircraft models.

Also present during the inauguration were Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II, LTP board chairman Washington Sycip, Philippine Airlines chief executive officer Lucio Tan, and LTP president and chief executive officer Gerald Frielinghaus.

The President said the operation of the new hangar would definitely give the Philippines a noticeable mark in the aviation world “and this is a good time to garner such attention.”

“Liberalizing the aviation sector has been one of the key reforms implemented by my administration. We want a more competitive industry, and from what we have seen, the liberalization programs are working. In 2011, we saw the emergence of AirAsia, a new local player; and we saw the expansion of Seair, which now offers international flights. Foreign airlines have also joined in, as companies like Air Nippon Airways, Tiger Airways, Jin Air, and Air Busan, have started their operations here,” he said.

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