How Much Does It Cost To Have An Aircraft On Ground (AOG)?

How Much Does It Cost To Have An Aircraft On Ground (AOG)?

You know how important it is to keep an aircraft flying and generating revenue. But sometimes, things go wrong, and an aircraft can’t operate. This is called an AOG situation, and it can significantly impact the bottom line of any aircraft operator.

AOG situations can be stressful and costly for airlines and operators, as they often lead to flight cancellations, delays, and lost revenue. But just how much does it cost to have an aircraft on ground? Let’s take a closer look.

[wpsm_titlebox title=”Contents” style=”1″][/wpsm_titlebox]

What is Aircraft On Ground (AOG)?

AOG stands for Aircraft on Ground, meaning either a technical or other related problem that makes an aircraft unsafe or impossible to fly. It could be anything from a faulty sensor to a damaged engine to weather events.

The AOG status is considered critical and time-sensitive as it can result in significant financial losses for the airline or operator due to flight delays, cancellations, and disruptions to the flight schedule. In such cases, rapid and effective solutions are required to get the aircraft back in service as quickly as possible.

What are the causes of Aircraft On Ground?

There are many possible causes of AOG, but some of the most common ones are:

Mechanical failures

Sometimes, an aircraft’s component or system malfunctions or breaks down during operation or on the ground. This could be due to wear and tear, manufacturing defects, human error, or external factors such as weather or bird strikes.

Supply chain issues

Supply chain issues, such as delays in the delivery of parts or materials, can cause an aircraft to be grounded. The unavailability of critical parts can lead to extended downtime for an aircraft, which can result in significant financial losses for the airline or operator.

Routine inspections

The FAA requires regular inspections of aircraft every 400-600 hours (A check) and every 6-8 months (B check). If an aircraft fails to pass one of these inspections, it is grounded until it meets the safety standards.

Weather-related issues

Adverse weather conditions such as heavy snow, ice, thunderstorms, or high winds can cause damage to aircraft, which can lead to AOG situations. In such cases, the aircraft must be inspected and repaired before safely returning to service.

Human factors

Human errors such as pilot, maintenance, or ground crew errors can cause AOG situations. For example, if a ground crew member accidentally damages an aircraft during servicing, the aircraft may have to be grounded for repairs.

Regulatory compliance

Regulatory compliance issues such as the expiration of a mandatory inspection or the need to comply with new regulations can cause an aircraft to be grounded until the necessary compliance actions are completed.

How much does it cost to have an Aircraft On Ground (AOG)?

Having an aircraft on the ground can be very costly for an airline, as it affects its revenue and reputation. The cost of having an aircraft on ground depends on the type of issue and how quickly it needs to be resolved.

According to Boeing, a 1-2 hour AOG situation can cost an airline $10-20,000, and possibly as high as $150,000. Some of the costs associated with AOG are:

Lease costs

An average aircraft lease can range from $60,000 to $750,000 per month, depending on the age and model of the aircraft. This means that every day an aircraft is not flying costs the airline thousands of dollars in lease payments.

Maintenance costs

The cost of aircraft maintenance depends on the type and severity of the problem, as well as the availability and location of spare parts and personnel. The average hourly wage for an aircraft mechanic in the US is up to $50.

Depending on the complexity and duration of the repair work, an AOG situation can require hundreds of hours of labor from skilled technicians and engineers. It’s a hefty bill for your grounded aircraft.

Spare parts

The average cost of a spare part for an AOG situation is around $8,785. However, this can vary widely depending on the availability and location of the part. Sometimes, airlines have to fly in parts from other countries or regions, which adds to the transportation and logistics costs.

Operational costs

When an aircraft is grounded, it affects the airline’s whole flight schedule and operations. It can cause delays, cancellations, re-routing, or rebooking flights and passengers. This can result in lost revenue, compensation payments, hotel or flight vouchers, storage fees, and customer dissatisfaction.

Passenger compensation

When an AOG situation causes flight delays or cancellations, airlines have to compensate their passengers through vouchers, refunds, rebookings, or hotel accommodations. Depending on the number of passengers affected and the duration of the disruption, this can cost airlines thousands or millions of dollars.

Reputation damage

AOG situations can also damage the reputation and image of an airline in the eyes of its customers and stakeholders. Frequent or prolonged AOG situations can erode customer loyalty and satisfaction, reduce market share and competitiveness, and lower investor confidence.

How to prevent or minimize AOG?

The best way to avoid or reduce the impact of AOG is to have a proactive and efficient maintenance and logistics strategy. Some of the steps that airlines can take are:

  • Perform regular preventive maintenance and inspections to detect and fix potential problems before they become serious.
  • Have enough spare parts inventory and distribution network to ensure fast delivery and availability of parts when needed.
  • Have a reliable and experienced team of engineers and technicians who can perform repairs quickly and accurately.
  • Have a dedicated AOG team who can coordinate and manage all aspects of an AOG situation, from diagnosis to resolution.
  • Have a backup plan for alternative flights or transportation for passengers affected by an AOG situation.

Final thoughts

Aircraft On Ground (AOG) is one of the biggest challenges that airlines face in their daily operations. It can have a significant impact on their profitability and reputation. By having a comprehensive and effective maintenance and logistics strategy, airlines can prevent or minimize AOG situations and keep their aircraft flying safely and efficiently.