What Could Long Cycle Times Cost Your Aviation Business?

In the vast world of business, faster is always better. It’s no different when it comes to aircraft maintenance. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations has reported a “dramatic” drop in international air travel. However, thousands of aircraft are still going in and out of hangars for repairs, and every moment that a plane is out of commission just adds to the bleeding that aviation businesses have been experiencing. This is why cutting down cycle time is always the preferred scenario for airlines and MRO companies.  

Maintenance cost is a major challenge for airlines, particularly for both keeping aircraft up in the air and finances stable. So how exactly could long cycle times affect an aviation business? And what are the different factors that could keep your aircraft grounded for longer than they should be?

A Domino of Delays

Even a small mistake or inefficiency could set off a chain of costly events for an aviation business. Consider a warehouse running out of one component that is hard to procure. Normally this would be perfectly fine; after all, running out of certain inventory items happens occasionally. But sooner or later, repairs will come in, and that’s where the problem begins.

Suddenly, your supply chain is interrupted, and you’re scrambling to order the critical component. Because of the lead time, your maintenance personnel have to wait to finish their repair jobs. Your plane then can’t get clearance to fly, and it has to keep using up hangar space that could have been allotted for another important repair. Eventually, you’ve not only lost out on profit, but you’ve also had to shell out more to get your cycle times back on track. 

Delays in one minor repair can quickly snowball into major delays in all of your operations. This isn’t just a possible threat to your scheduling, it could also compromise overall efficiency and safety. And of course, having planes stuck on land will hit your bank. According to the Financial Times, it costs up to tens of thousands of dollars, specifically about $30k, to keep one plane secured on the ground. Factor in the lost revenue in canceled flights minus the flight operation costs you wouldn’t have to pay, and this would add up to be a big financial hit.

Keeping Cycle Times Down

The best way to keep cycle times down and planes up in the air is to streamline the entirety of your MRO operations. With so many stages of the workflow where things can go wrong, reliable MRO software is invaluable. With the right technology, you can:

  • Manage warehouse inventory seamlessly 
  • Forecast maintenance requirements as accurately as possible
  • Monitor projects and labor resources efficiently; and
  • Manage contracts, billing, and invoicing

Even long after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that would always be a constant in the aviation industry is the need to efficiently maintain aircraft. Thankfully, technology has evolved and is now capable of making so many jobs easier. 

Speak with an EmpowerMX expert to find out how to optimize your MRO.