COVID-19 had collectively grounded the airline industry in 2020. As international travel restrictions gradually ease in 2021, the aviation industry can expect to see new opportunities arise, for post-pandemic economic recovery. The Airport Council International (ACI) body predicts a surge in travel demand across the second half of 2021. With global trade already on the rise, with the world trade’s recovery hitting a record high in its first quarter – aviation experts appear optimistic as we regain a semblance of normality.

With the largest vaccination campaign in history underway, aviation services with climate-controlled facilities will be able to support the distribution of the vaccine globally. The sudden inflation in demand, means that aviation will have to ensure that its Aircraft on Ground (AOG) support is able to sustain with the new wave of opportunities. AOG poses a fundamental challenge in the aviation industry, with the FAA requiring rigorous and regulatory A and B aircraft inspections; being able to support immediate service and repair will effectively reduce the time spent on the ground – meaning a reduction in lost revenue.

Here are a few things to consider to ensure that your AOG support is effectively optimised – allowing you better react to the new demands of the post-pandemic landscape.

Time is Expensive

A grounded aircraft incurs expenses, which is why reducing time held in storage is key to reducing costs. With the average initial maintenance time being between 120-150 hours – opting for a rapid and responsive logistical solution to deliver the required parts will reduce the amount of time that the aircraft remains grounded. With tight rotation schedules and lofty expectations from airline passengers – grounded aircrafts can create huge inconveniences for passengers and customers, as well as financial ramifications for airline providers. Taking a few hours less to resolve the issue may prevent companies from having to spend on storage fees, hotel or flight reimbursements for passengers stranded from a delayed or cancelled flight, or the cost of expedited parts.

For air-cargo and international deliveries, fast shipping times can be compromised by AOG challenges, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Not at the fault of the business’s – customer trust and loyalty will [AS1] begin to diminish. Time-pressured situations such as these require careful consideration and support from a reactive solution, to ensure maintenance parts are delivered to meet tight time-specific deadlines.

Customs Fast-Tracking

To seamlessly provide your engineers with the required parts, selecting a delivery service with pre-established networks and knowledge on airport customs will help you to speed up the process of repair. The London Heathrow branch at Crown SDS (Service Delivery Solution), a national logistics provider, has been able create a strong relationship with the largest airport in the UK. Heathrow is known to handle over 80 million passengers annually. With national collection coverage, they are able to transport parts at a fast rate with a reliable continuity of service. With the boom in travel predicted across the second half of 2021, this will be magnified so ensuring that your service delivery solution is well-acquainted with your selected airport will help reduce the delivery time.

Licensing, Security and Compliance

Ensuring that your parts will make it through clearance quickly and efficiently means that you will need to select a service delivery solution that can provide drivers that have Level 5 airside security-clearance and training. Understanding the important procedures and regulations will also minimise the obstacles of acquiring your aircrafts outstanding parts. With over fifty years of combined experience in air-cargo across London and the South of England, Crown SDS Heathrow is keen to continue expanding upon its mature network of airline providers. All of Crown SDS’s air cargo delivery drivers have been selected to work with them because they can provide their Level 5 security certifications before taking on a consignment.

Complete Visibility

Having complete visibility and an accurate expected time of arrival means that you can allocate your engineers effectively for when the parts are close to your storage facility/ hangar. For an immediate return to service, being able to track your delivery to ensure that the drop meets your time-specific needs is an essential element to consider when opting for a successful delivery service. Crown SDS integrates this for many of its airline and freight forwarder customers, allowing them to provide accurate and tangible reports to competitively track and enhance their services.

Being able to provide your customers, whether they are online shoppers or airline travellers, with reliable communications starts from ensuring you can best predict when you can achieve their desired actions. Being able to have close contact with suppliers and providers behind the scenes within your supply chain, such as your engineers, part vendors and delivery providers will help you to better achieve this. Clear two-way communication is as integral as speed, network, tracking and compliance to retain your customers and sustain your airside arrangements.

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By Alison