How efficient is your retrofit provisioning process?

Airlines spend a significant amount of time carefully planning and scheduling aircraft maintenance and modernization. Not surprisingly, aircraft maintenance is driven largely by FAA regulations to ensure the aircraft can continue to operate safely. Modernization efforts, however, can include everything from changing the look and feel of the interior to updating seatbacks to improving the passenger experience through inflight internet provisioning.

So why is efficiency of provisioning process so important? Simply put: aircraft on ground (AoG) time is costly. Airlines must minimize AoG costs because every hour spent on the ground results in lost revenue.

Taking an aircraft out of service for provisioning is no simple matter. Many variables must be considered, including timing. Can provisioning wait until off-peak travel? Can it take place during the span of a heavy maintenance check? How long will the aircraft be out of service? What are the financial impacts?

“When an aircraft breaks or becomes grounded, it can cost airlines up to $150k/hr and delay or cause cancellations nationwide.”*

Next, consider that each airline has a unique workflow or sequence of installation tasks that require the right skills, equipment, tools, kits, and aircraft to be in the right place at the right time. In addition, design and layout of an aircraft differs based on aircraft type. A Boeing retrofit installation may follow a different sequencing process than Airbus, Bombardier, or Embraer.

Gogo partners with airlines to develop and optimize the sequencing process or “workflow” that ensures both airlines and technicians have a shared understanding of the proper placement and allocation of resources including avionics technicians, structural mechanics, equipment for installation, and/or de-modifcation to get aircraft back into service on time. Improper sequencing—even of something as seemingly benign as structural component—can delay progress by a full day, causing significant rework.

To put this into perspective, consider that an optimized sequence calls for running cabling in the overhead prior to placement of a structural component. Taken out of sequence, installing the structural component ahead of the cabling means one of two work-arounds:

  1. Remove the structure component, run the cabling, reinstall
  2. Change the engineering paperwork to avoid the re-work

Either scenario is time consuming, impacts scheduling, and results in much higher-than-necessary costs. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

By following an optimized, sequenced workflow, airlines can standardize inflight internet provisioning. The result? A more repeatable and cost-effective approach that ultimately lowers the airline’s total cost of ownership and keeps more aircraft in the skies.

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