Boeing's Airplane Health Management to Monitor Cathay Pacific's 777 and 747 Fleets

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Cathay Pacific Airways have announced that the airline will license a state-of-the-art, in-flight airplane monitoring system to track the health of 43 twin-aisle Boeing jets. Boeing's Airplane Health Management (AHM) will give Cathay Pacific a real-time tracking tool to identify potential problems and help turn reactive repair issues into a proactive, planned and timely maintenance program.

AHM provides real-time maintenance information to airlines that can be used to address potential problems before they force airplanes out of service. Cathay Pacific will use the system to track its fleets of existing and incoming 777s and 747-400s. AHM is designed to be a stand-alone fault-forwarding and prognostic solution. It is intended to be integrated with an airline's existing maintenance and engineering systems.

During a flight, AHM gathers data about faults on an airplane and relays that information in real time to personnel on the ground. Based on that communication, maintenance crews can be ready with the parts, tools and information necessary to make repairs when an airplane arrives at its airport gate. AHM can therefore help operators reduce the number and length of airplane dispatch delays and convert many tasks from non-routine to scheduled maintenance.

"Cathay Pacific is one of the airline industry's bellwether customers, the kind that leads in new directions because of its reputation for smart management and informed decision-making," said Lou Mancini, vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "It is fitting that this order comes as Cathay Pacific celebrates its 60th year in operation in 2006 and as it has been recognized by Air Transport World as the magazine's 2006 Airline of the Year. Boeing is pleased to support an airline with such a storied past and present-day respect as Cathay Pacific continues its drive to enhance efficiency."

"For Cathay Pacific, one of the key benefits of AHM is the ability to technically manage a large and growing fleet of aircraft by the effective use of technology rather than manpower," said Rob Wales, Cathay Pacific's manager Maintenance Support. "By using smart, real-time fault forwarding linked to Boeing and airline documentation and integrated into the airline's engineering and maintenance system, front-line staff are provided with a powerful knowledge base that is seamlessly supported by the airline infrastructure. This will significantly improve the chances of implementing a quality, first-time fix, which will ultimately result in enhanced operational performance."

AHM is a key technology in Boeing's effort to e-Enable the air transport system. Central to the effort is the idea that data, information and knowledge are shared across an entire enterprise to allow airlines to make the best decisions to operate their fleets 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 Electronic Flight Bag, MyBoeingFleet and the award-winning Maintenance Performance Toolbox.

In addition, AHM will support long-term fleet reliability programs by helping airline's identify recurring faults and trends. Data collected from one airline can actually guide repair decisions, based on history and fleet experience, at another airline operating the same airplanes.

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Tim Healy
Nancy Standifer
Mark Hooper
Hong Kong