HOW TAILORED FLEET MANAGEMENT DELIVERS FINANCIAL VALUE
P&WC’s Fleet Management™ Program offers more than a customized engine maintenance solution — it’s also a financial planning tool that helps regional airlines and other fleet operators manage their budgets more effectively.
CREATING A FULLY PLANNED ENVIRONMENT
For regional airlines, managing aircraft maintenance costs is a challenge and a priority. Over the past 20 years, P&WC has been helping PW100 and PW150 engine customers predict and control their cash flow with Fleet Management Programs (FMPs). These tailored solutions eliminate cost variability and reduce the financial impact of engine maintenance, while delivering a planned and predictive environment to help sustain the value of their aircraft and engines and maximize availability.
At a functional level, here’s how it works: the FMP plan provides a cost guarantee for ongoing maintenance of the operator’s engines by P&WC’s Global Service Network. In return for this guarantee, the airline follows a customized maintenance plan and best practices specified by the program.
P&WC’s Nicolas Restrepo, Regional Sales Manager, explains that an FMP plan might provide coverage of selected maintenance work at a fixed hourly rate. The airline can then anticipate in advance exactly how much they will pay based on the number of flight hours. “Without a Fleet Management Program, engine shop events are billed based on accrued time and material costs, which by their nature are not capped or guaranteed,” notes Nicolas.
An FMP plan ensures that the operator benefits from better engine performance, availability and more predictable costs, while being able to leverage the capabilities of our global service network and engine-OEM expertise.
A TAILORED PLAN FOR EVERY OPERATOR
Every airline’s operating environment is different. FMP plans are flexible and custom-built in collaboration with the customer. They often include the provision of advanced digital engine services such as P&WC’s FAST™ Solution (Full-Flight Data Acquisition, Storage and Transmission) to allow greater insight into the aircraft and engines by providing situational awareness about engine health, usage and trends. For regional operators, FAST also includes a digital propeller vibration trend monitoring system to help reduce workload and costs and improve passenger comfort. As part of the FMP, these technologies can contribute significantly to creating a planned and preventive environment.
Before developing a tailored FMP plan, we work closely with the airline to get a clear understanding of their business and operational needs to support them in maximizing their profitability and efficiency.
Every aspect of the FMP is designed around the customer’s operational environment. The airline can also choose their preferred payment option – pay-per-hour or pay-at-the-event – depending on how they want to manage their cash flow.
As part of customization process for every operator, a Fleet Profile Form is created that summarizes all the key fleet information, the desired coverage and the airline’s engine maintenance practices. This is used to understand what is important for the airline and why.
The goal is to find the right balance in the program between time on wing and overall maintenance costs. For an airline with an aging fleet, for example, the FMP may include a provision for supplying new engines to replace ones for which repairs are not economically viable.
“We know our engines better than anyone, and our regional engines have accumulated over 189 million hours across several continents,” says Nicolas. “That helps us design FMP agreements that are highly tailored and optimized for the airline.”
A DEDICATED CUSTOMER MANAGER FOR EVERY FMP
Under an FMP plan, every operator is closely supported by a dedicated customer manager who helps plan and coordinate all aspects of the program.
The customer manager helps ensure world-class support by coordinating with our Customer First Centre, planning engine maintenance and working with technical experts to return engines to service as quickly as possible in order to ensure highest availability.
Every year, the customer manager meets with the operator to conduct a detailed review and evaluate key performance indicators to ensure the needs of the fleet are met. As part of this process, the customer manager shares best practices, lessons learned and recommendations for improvement.
SUSTAINING AND ENHANCING FLEET VALUE
There are other financial benefits besides reducing and capping maintenance costs. Aircraft with engines covered by an FMP plan also have a higher resale or re-lease value.
As Nicolas explains, if the engines are enrolled under a long-term maintenance agreement with the OEM, such as an FMP plan, it is assurance to a potential buyer that the engines have been maintained according to the highest industry standards. All else being equal, this increases the aircraft’s value.
Most customers who sign up for an FMP plan see it as a smart investment that helps maximize aircraft availability and supports flight schedule adherence. This in turn improves the passenger experience, which builds brand loyalty and repeat business—the goal of any successful airline.