Japan Airlines (JAL) has become the first customer to fully implement an innovative in-flight monitoring system from Boeing [NYSE: BA] that will help it operate at peak levels of safety, reliability and efficiency.
JAL is implementing Airplane Health Management (AHM), a new data-monitoring and prognostic service developed by Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. AHM monitors the health of an airplane in flight and relays that information in real time from the air to the ground. When the airplane arrives at the gate, maintenance crews are ready to make any needed repairs quickly.
A development partner since spring 2004, JAL began using the system to monitor half its Boeing 747-400 and 777 fleets. Since then, it has extended the system to cover all of its 747-400s and 777s.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have JAL as our first fully operational AHM customer," said Lou Mancini, vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "Having such a well-regarded, technically capable airline as a development partner was crucial to making this program a technical success; having them as the first full customer is a great validation of this game-changing technology."
During a flight, AHM gathers data about systems on the airplane and relays that in real time to personnel on the ground. Based on that data, maintenance crews can be ready to make repairs when the airplane arrives at its airport gate. AHM can therefore help operators reduce the number and length of airplane dispatch delays and convert certain tasks from non-routine to scheduled maintenance.
In addition, AHM will support long-term fleet reliability programs by helping airlines identify recurring faults and trends.
AHM is a key technology in Boeing's effort to e-Enable the air transport system, in which data, information and knowledge are shared across the entire enterprise to allow airlines to make the best decisions to operate their businesses at the highest levels of safety, security and efficiency. AHM is designed to integrate seamlessly with other e-Enabled products from Boeing, such as the Class 3 Boeing Electronic Flight Bag, MyBoeingFleet and the Maintenance Performance Toolbox.
Asia's largest airline group, the JAL Group serves 206 airports in 34 countries and territories, including 62 airports in Japan. JAL's network extends over 227 international passenger, 36 international cargo, and 156 domestic routes. Altogether, the 10 airlines of the JAL Group make a total of over 1,140 flights a day, and last year carried almost 60 million passengers. JAL Group operates a fleet of 284 aircraft including 79 Boeing 747s, and was the first airline in the world to take delivery of 100 Boeing 747 aircraft.