Although owning a company aircraft can reduce expenses due to a reduction in commercial airline costs, an aviation maintenance term known as “Airplane on ground” or AOG can significantly reduce those savings. AOG is a term used by aircraft maintenance crews when a mechanical problem in an aircraft makes the plane unsafe for flying. The plane is then grounded, and in some cases, any other planes of the same make and model that the company owns could be grounded as well. An aircraft engine maintenance company should have an AOG 24/7 hotline.
Airplane on ground applies to any materials, spare parts or mechanical expertise that is needed immediately to get the aircraft in the air again. When a maintenance crew determines that a plane is AOG, parts and/or personnel are dispatched immediately to return the aircraft to service. This is done through specially trained airplane on ground personnel either at an internal AOG desk, the manufacturers AOG desk or through the AOG desk of competing airlines.
Because airplane on ground policies are regulated by the Federal Aviation Association, there can be some red tape involved in obtaining the parts or personnel necessary to get the plane off the ground. Although some AOG desks are manned 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, obtaining the correct part or personnel may not be possible immediately, grounding planes for a longer period. While the plane is grounded, your employees will need to make alternate travel arrangements or supplies will be delayed getting to customers. Either of these situations can reduce the cost savings of owning a plane.
Costs Can Be Significant
In early 2011, a major airline cancelled approximately 300 flights after a crack appeared in the fuselage of a Boeing 737 while in flight. The airline placed 79 planes into airplane on ground status as they were of the same make and model as the damaged aircraft. The planes remained grounded until they could be inspected and any repairs necessary could be completed to make them safe for flying. Passengers found flights to be delayed or cancelled completely, requiring them to either reschedule their trips or cancel them altogether. Industry insiders estimate that the airplane on ground status of these flights cost the airline as much as $4 million in lost revenue.
Whether you have one plane placed in airplane on ground status, or many planes that cannot fly, your business can be affected due to lost revenue, increased commercial airline costs and delays in getting supplies where they are needed. For this reason, it is critical to have an aircraft maintenance partner that can get your planes in the air as quickly as possible. Covington Aircraft offers Airplane on ground services 24/7.
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