The recent Saturday Night Live skit poking fun at the Southwest Airlines incident may have been hilarious, but the aftermath of such events is far from a joking matter. While it may seem ludicrous that airlines could ever be using pen and paper to log critical flight data, the reality is that some organizations still rely on outdated methods to track mission-critical fleet data.
The cost of not investing in state-of-the-art software for fleet management could lead to millions of dollars in losses. Over the holidays, 16,700 canceled flights equaled an $825 million loss, or about $50,000 per flight. And that doesn’t include other losses that aren’t as easy to track, like future lost sales and a major dent in branding.
What are the top benefits of identifying chronic repeat issues on an aircraft?
Identifying chronic issues early on in commercial airlines can have a significant impact on the overall operation and success of the business. By addressing these recurring problems in a timely manner, airlines can enjoy numerous benefits such as:
- Cost savings: Early identification of chronic issues allows airlines to address problems before they escalate, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
- Improved safety: Detecting and fixing chronic issues helps to ensure the safety of passengers and crew, reducing the risk of accidents and incidents.
- Increased reliability: Addressing chronic issues helps to improve the reliability of aircraft, reducing the frequency of cancellations, diversions, and delays.
- Better customer experience: Addressing chronic issues helps to improve the overall customer experience, reducing discomfort, inconvenience, and frustration for passengers.
- Better fleet utilization: By addressing chronic issues, airlines can improve fleet utilization, reducing the need for additional aircraft and increasing the utilization of existing assets.
- Improved brand reputation: Addressing chronic issues helps to maintain and improve an airline's brand reputation, increasing customer loyalty and attracting new customers.
These benefits can help airlines to remain competitive in a challenging industry and ultimately ensure the long-term success and growth of the business.
What are many airlines doing today?
Operators are often dependent on flight crews and maintenance technicians to document aircraft defects, and in many cases that is still being done with pen and paper in a logbook. Many times, technicians and flight crews get the ATA numbers wrong or erroneously transpose a number when tracking defects by hand. That impairs tracking tremendously.
What are the alternatives?
Many large commercial airlines, like American Airlines and Delta, are using ChronicX to identify and track repeat issues on their aircraft to help provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the required criteria for tracking those issues.
ChronicX, powered by both artificial intelligence and decades of aviation expertise, automates the clustering of defects, irrespective of ATA coding, abbreviations, and even misspellings. It does this in near real time, with 99% plus accuracy, in a simple platform for both web and mobile use.
- If the problem has been deferred
- If the problem resulted in delays or cancelations
- And how often that has happened
Thus, becoming a big searchable database.
ChronicX also allows multiple user groups to view the user interface and run reports with ease whenever they open the system and quickly identify new entries with visual indicators that prompt the user. In companies with smaller fleets, it automates processes that free up time for employees who are doing multiple jobs.
In companies with larger fleets, ChronicX saves time and money. The software shows which ATA chapters are the worst performers, trend reports, and how often they are causing delays. If a plane takes off and has to come back, it’s a minimum $100,000 cost. Identifying these issues in real time allows airlines to prevent these events and save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
ChronicX can track how many delays happened on the first defect, second defect, or third defect, which allows clients to reduce or even eliminate delays and cancelations before they ever happen by knowing when they are most likely to occur.
If an aircraft has a hardware issue and the maintenance team can narrow it down to one of five things, a company may order five parts. That same company may send one or two of those products off for testing, still unsure of which one is the issue.
That is wasted time and money. ChronicX can better narrow down that issue to increase the bottom line and save time. Even a short delay can cost $10,000. If you have multiple connections for that one flight which results in cancelations, it could cost up to $500,000.
If we understand these issues better, whether it’s the aircraft, the route, or the part, imagine the cost savings over one year. Not to mention the fact that fleet health and reliability equals happy customers. That’s something ChronicX can’t measure, but is certainly priceless.
What are the most frequent repeat issues seen across the industry?
Right now, clients can only look at this for their specific fleet. Some of the most frequent issues our customers are seeing include interior damage, lights, communications, air conditioning, engine bleed, auxiliary power, landing gear, navigation, and flight controls.
What makes ChronicX different and better?
No one else does this type of automated, accurate, specific defect identification as fast as ChronicX. Besides our cutting-edge AI natural language software, our customer success team is
what sets us apart. We train users and help integrate their current tracking processes and data flows to streamline all of it, saving time and money.
ChronicX improves efficiency, provides automated accurate data that will decrease delays, get aircraft more uptime, and increase fleet utilization.
Our team onboards and trains clients and is available via phone to share best practices and troubleshoot issues. Our clients know they get a real person on the phone to walk through any issues with the software. It’s an ongoing process to make our clients better and more successful!
What’s next for ChronicX?
ATP is constantly incorporating new features into ChronicX based on customer feedback.
Our team is currently working on a diagnostic tool to integrate into the system and a dashboard to allow clients to use a comparative tool with the rest of the worldwide fleet with an option to share information across the industry. It will help identify if a repeating defect is prone to a particular aircraft, the crew maintaining the fleet, or the location and helps automate the nitty gritty grunt work typically being done now by hand that is not trackable in an easy way. We want to help change processes, save time, and help clients act quickly to save money and improve reliability industry-wide.
Currently, pilots are making log entries with the defect. Technicians will then document troubleshooting steps and corrective actions, and manually enter this information into the maintenance tracking system. Then the IT department makes an automated download of defect records to be displayed. Some larger carriers are using electronic logbooks which can work with ChronicX for real-time reporting. ChronicX has the ability to alert reliability and maintenance control of the issue before they even land the plane.
We see techlogs from over 6,500 aircraft operating around the world and under different operating models. Our clients ask us to provide them with additional insights into their aircraft health using this unique data source.
By the end of this year, we hope to offer these insights to our customers to compare their performance to the worldwide fleet. That will be a game changer that will allow airlines to predict even more accurately issues before they happen.
By identifying chronic issues early on in commercial airlines, businesses can reduce maintenance costs, improve safety, reliability, and customer experience, as well as better utilize their fleet and maintain their brand reputation.
Many airlines still rely on manual tracking by tech-ops and reliability teams, but alternatives like ChronicX use natural language processing to quickly and accurately track repeat issues.
ChronicX helps airlines prevent delays and cancellations, save time and money, and improve their bottom line.
If you could eliminate or reduce delays or cancelations before they ever happened, would you do it? That’s what ChronicX is allowing companies to do. Want to see it in action? Book your demo today!