- Most extensive work package in the maintenance schedule of the 
world's largest passenger jet

- Second twelve-year check on a Lufthansa Airlines A380 already 

- All three A380 overhaul lines in Manila busy well into the coming 

For the first time in its history, Lufthansa Technik Philippines 
(LTP) in Manila has completed the so-called twelve-year check on an 
Airbus A380, supporting the return of the world's largest passenger 
aircraft to the fleet of Lufthansa Airlines. After successfully 
completing the most extensive work package in its maintenance 
schedule last week, the A380 registered D-AIMC has returned to 

Compared to the less extensive three- or six-year checks that 
Lufthansa Airlines' first four reactivated Airbus A380s also 
underwent at LTP, the scheduled twelve-year check involves much more 
intensive inspections of the aircraft structure. In order to provide 
adequate access thereto, more than 500 passenger seats and all other 
monuments from the two passenger decks had to be removed and later 
reinstalled during the layover of "Mike Charlie" in Manila. Various 
large aircraft components were also completely replaced or 
temporarily dismantled as part of the check.

Complete replacement of all landing gear assemblies

One of the milestones of every twelve-year check is the complete 
replacement of the landing gear, which on the Airbus A380 consists of
five individual gear assemblies with a total of 22 wheels. After a 
dozen years, these highly stressed components, which have to absorb a
maximum take-off weight of up to 560 tons on a fully loaded A380, 
have reached the end of their scheduled service life. To make sure 
that this not also marks the end of the components' overall livespan,
the experts at Lufthansa Technik Landing Gear Services (LTLGS) in 
London are overhauling the four main landing gear components to 
almost new condition, while the nose landing gear is overhauled by 
its manufacturer.

Engines make way for detailed inspections

No less spectacular is the removal of all four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 
engines from the wings of the A380. These will be temporarily removed
as part of the twelve-year check to allow the experts to carry out 
more detailed structural inspections of the wings and engine mounts. 
The engines themselves, with a diameter of around three meters at the
air intake and a dry weight of more than six metric tons, will only 
undergo minor inspections in line with their remaining service life. 
In addition to the scheduled work packages of a twelve-year check, 
the LTP team also had to carry out modifications, such as 
implementing all airworthiness directives (ADs) issued by the 
manufacturer Airbus during the long inactivity of the aircraft. 

Full house in Manila: Overhaul layovers for A380s in demand like 
never before

At peak times, more than 100 aircraft mechanics were working on 
D-AIMC as part of the twelve-year check. Despite its more than 42,000
flying hours and over 4,300 flight cycles, "Mike Charlie" is now 
almost ready for its return to active scheduled service with 
Lufthansa Airlines, but also fit for the time until its next, but 
then significantly smaller, base maintenance check. With D-AIMH "Mike
Hotel", which was transferred from Frankfurt to Manila on February 
11, the next twelve-year check on an A380 is already underway at LTP.

In general, such overhauls, known as base maintenance in technical 
jargon, are still in high demand for the world's largest passenger 
aircraft. Numerous airlines have now put the aircraft type, which 
still enjoys high popularity among passengers, back into service in 
order to cope with the extreme increase in demand for air travel 
since the end of the pandemic. In addition to Lufthansa Airlines, LTP
currently counts four other A380 operators among its customer base. 
Despite the opening of a third overhaul line for the type last year, 
the company's capacities will therefore be almost fully utilized well
into the coming years.

"The return of the A380 to the fleets of many airlines has also 
boosted demand for maintenance services enormously. We are benefiting
quite well from this with our A380 expertise here in Manila, that we 
recently even expanded with the third overhaul line," explains Elmar 
Lutter, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik Philippines. "In
view of the delays in the delivery of numerous new wide-body 
aircraft, I am certain that services for the A380 will remain an 
integral part of our portfolio for years to come."