Air Transport World

Spend thousands, save millions. (computer programs help airline optimize maintenance schedules)

Spending a couple of hundred thousand dollars to save millions would seem to make good sense in these tough economic times. And that is just what Continental and American Airlines say they've done with new software they began using last fall to schedule heavy maintenance checks for the hundreds of aircraft they fly.

Continental, which formally accepted the Aircraft Maintenance Event Scheduler (AMES) developed by Omega Airline Software, Glastonbury, Conn., in January after two months of testing, "literally eliminated one maintenance line for one year the first time we used the model," says Manum Naeem, director-maintenance planning. The result was some $4 million in labor savings.

American has achieved equally dramatic results with DockPlan, which, like AMES is a system for "forecasting when overhauls are going to happen and assigning them to a dock as close to that time as possible," also known as attaining high maintenance-program yield, says Douglas Gray, director-M&E consulting for American Airlines Decision Technologies (AADT). …

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