A partnership between Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Air France aimed at transforming the way the airline maintains and operates its fleet is deepening thanks to Air France's adoption of the Boeing Airplane Health Management (AHM) system.
AHM provides real-time maintenance information to airlines that can address potential problems before they force airplanes out of service and impact an airline's customers - and its own bottom line. The tool will monitor Air France's 777 and 747 fleets. Air France has 42 777s in service and 13 to be delivered; it has 21 747-400s in service.
"A modern, competitive airline must embrace technology that will help improve productivity and minimize disruption to passengers, and Airplane Health Management is exactly the kind of tool we were looking for," said Air France Industries (Air France MRO division) President Alain Bassil.
Air France has become a world leader in e-Enabling its airplane maintenance operations. In September, the airline announced a landmark decision to put Boeing's Class 3 Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) on its entire fleet of 777s.
The Boeing Class 3 EFB, which is installed as part of a flight-deck's avionics, can serve as a critical communications gateway between the airplane in the sky and an airline's operations center and maintenance department on the ground. Boeing's EFB is designed to directly connect pilot-initiated fault information from the flight deck of a flying 777 to AHM.
"Air France is again showing its leadership in the industry with this acquisition of Airplane Health Management," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Commercial Aviation Services. "Its commitment to improve the experience of its customers is unquestioned, and that's why Boeing sees the decision to adopt this solution as an important validation: AHM makes a significant contribution to an airline's efficiency and effectiveness."
AHM supports long-term fleet reliability programs by helping airlines identify and respond to faults proactively. Because AHM users share information, data collected from one airline can actually guide repair decisions, based on history and fleet experience, at another airline operating the same airplanes. The goal is to help airlines operate at the highest levels of security, reliability and efficiency.
The cooperative relationship between Boeing and Air France has grown significantly with Air France's AHM decision. Air France was a developmental partner for the original AHM release, and it is the first Europe-based AHM customer.
In recent weeks, airlines have begun to embrace the value of adopting multiple Boeing e-Enabled products and services that interact seamlessly and help airlines run more efficiently. That is more evidence of a larger transformation in the way airlines maintain, operate and enhance their biggest capital assets: their fleets. Boeing is proud to be a leader in this new direction.