Two advanced Boeing [NYSE: BA] technologies will combine to help Emirates drive efficiency and maintain performance in its rapidly growing fleet of Boeing 777s and new 747-8s. By the end of this year, the Dubai-based airline will be operating 51 777s. In 2005, the airline ordered 42 777s, and when all of those are in service, the airline is expected to have a fleet of 93 777s.
Emirates will use an in-flight decision-support system, Airplane Health Management (AHM), as well as a software maintenance-support system, Maintenance Performance Toolbox, to help operate and maintain the airplanes during this period of rapid expansion.
"Emirates is dedicated to providing its passengers a superior flying experience, and the combination of these two Boeing products helps maximize that effort," said Iain Lachlan, Emirates' divisional senior vice president - Aircraft Maintenance. "These cutting-edge tools indicate clearly that we are committed to reviewing the latest technologies, and investing and adopting the best, most up-to-date technology to help ensure a safe, reliable and comfortable flight."
Toolbox and AHM are core elements of Boeing's strategy to provide an integrated suite of products to e-Enable the air transport system. Central to the effort is the idea that data, information and knowledge are collected and shared across an entire enterprise and its supply chain, so that airlines operate at the highest levels of operational and environmental efficiency. Emirates is the latest airline to adopt multiple e-Enabled products, which interact seamlessly and enhance the value that each would provide an airline individually.
"With this decision, Emirates is sending an industrywide message about how to drive efficiency and performance," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "We couldn't ask for a better validation of our products than an endorsement like this from one of the world's premier airlines." Airplane Health Management supports long-term fleet-reliability programs by helping airlines identify and respond to faults proactively. The goal is to help airlines operate at the highest levels of reliability and efficiency.
In addition to monitoring Emirates' expanding 777 fleet, AHM will also monitor the airline's fleet of 747s. Emirates ordered 10 747-8 Freighters last year and is AHM's launch customer for the 747-8. Airplane Health Management now provides real-time monitoring and decision support for 42 percent of the world's 777s and 31 percent of its 747-400s.
Toolbox, which is rapidly becoming a must-have software package for efficiency-conscious carriers, represents the industry's first set of productivity tools designed to unify an airline's maintenance and engineering operations from start to finish. In all, 39 air carriers have signed up for Toolbox since it was introduced 20 months ago. Toolbox today comprises six different tools that can help airlines streamline a wide range of maintenance and repair activities. Airlines can pick only the tools that they want to meet their specific needs.