Lufthansa Technik Sofia is investing €15 million ($20.5 million) to nearly double its narrowbody airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul capacity. As the new capacity comes online next year, the Lufthansa Technik-Bulgarian Aviation Group joint venture will increase its number of employees by more than 150 to about 500, Lufthansa Technik says.

The first bay of a new 56,000-sq.-ft. hangar is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2012, and a second bay will come online a few months later, Lufthansa Technik Sofia says. Additionally, a separate “lightweight” hangar will be built and used for line maintenance and lighter checks.

Lufthansa Technik Sofia was founded in 2007 and since then has completed more than 60 heavy checks on Airbus A320- and Boeing 737-family aircraft for Lufthansa, Bulgaria Air, Oman Air, BMI Baby, Ural Airlines and other customers, the company says.