17/03/2017 SUMMER IS FOR PRIVATE JET TRAVEL & FUN, NOT FOR LENGTHY AOGs
As soon as summer is around the corner, people tend to bounce new ideas as well as new dreams around, especially when it comes to travel and vacation. Consequentially, in aviation summer season means serious preparation and increasing the works capacity. Business jet manufacturer Bombardier just announced opening 5 additional line maintenance locations, a 50% increase in the overall number of stations. Everybody seems to understand – summer is for travel, fun and new experiences, definitely not for AOGs and long waits.
According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report, summer trips account for 41% of overall worldwide travelling. Commercial airlines have their maintenance cycles aligned in accordance to use this period to maximize the profits, however, there’s a different story in business and general aviation. At first sight, this segment does not seem to do cycles – private jet owners and users travel whenever and wherever they fell like.
Nonetheless, private flyers also seem to be inspired by the warmer air and clear blue skies. Data collected by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) shows that in the second and third quarters of 2016 combined, number of business aviation departures were over third (31%) higher than the Q1 and Q4. And as a rule of thumb, maintenance organisations in the segment prepare for summer in advance.
“AOG – three letter combination that stresses out even the calmest in our industry. In commercial aviation, one hour of downtime means colossal losses (in fact over $20 000 without the actual maintenance works). Nevertheless, in business, private and VIP aviation it can also squash your reputation, which is one of the most important criteria in this trust-based industry,” comments Darius Saluga, CEO of Jet Maintenance Solutions. “Adding to that, high-net worth individuals have companies to run and billions to manage, it is why time lost equals millions potentially gone.”
As a result, most business aviation maintenance organizations do not only have mobile engineer teams ready to fly out any minute, but offer other complimentary services as well. According to specialists at Locatory.com, in some countries, especially in Asia and the CIS, average AOG situation can take up to 15 days. Such mind-blowing time can add up due to logistics peculiarities.
As Darius Saluga explains, “for such difficult times, a partner that can not only provide hands-on maintenance works, but take care of shipment, customs clearance, etc. is invaluable. We handle over 30 000 of AOG shipments per year and we see that summer season is definitely when there’s an upward trend in the demand.”