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How to Avoid Aircraft Maintenance Surprises in 2021

How to Avoid Aircraft Maintenance Surprises in 2021

Dealing with uncertainty was part of the job description for aircraft maintenance teams in 2020. The global pandemic affected every segment of the aviation industry, causing passengers to stay home and flying hours to plummet.

While their aircraft were parked, maintenance teams continued to perform essential tasks like cycling engines and auxiliary power units, updating databases, checking avionics systems and catching up on training. Some took advantage of the downtime to get a jump on upcoming major service intervals, while others installed new hardware to meet mandates, improve operations or create a better passenger experience.  

“No doubt things will be different in 2021 and all signs point to a recovery and more normal operating year for business aviation, airline and helicopter operators,” said Paul David, Sr. Director of Business Aviation Aftermarket Service Sales for Honeywell. “But one thing remains constant: operators’ need to mitigate unplanned maintenance events that can ground flights, disrupt operations and wreak havoc on any organization’s maintenance budget.”

That’s why more and more operators are choosing predictability over uncertainty by enrolling in Honeywell’s signature Maintenance Service Plan (MSP), David added.

“What we really sell is peace of mind,” he said. “With a Honeywell MSP, operators know what to budget for maintenance, because we eliminate the element of surprise. We can protect them with comprehensive coverage on engines, APUs, avionics, mechanical components and nacelles. Honeywell offers the most comprehensive and flexible plans in the aviation industry to protect our customers from the high costs and disruption that an unanticipated breakdown can cause.”

One business jet operator learned that lesson the hard way when his aircraft’s APU went down on an overseas flight, resulting in a $30,000 unanticipated cost of a road team, repair bill and a couple days’ downtime. The director of maintenance covered his entire fleet with the MSP-Auxiliary Power Unit Gold Plan the following week. The Gold Plan covers these unexpected costs.

Another operator recently saved more than $125,000 in repair costs and downtime with the MSP-Avionics Consigned Inventory Management (CIM) option, which enabled the crew to carry select components onboard the aircraft. The option is ideal for operators flying into areas with limited service and support resources.

“Honeywell’s Maintenance Service Plans have been protecting operators for more than 40 years,” David said. “But they are being constantly updated to meet our customers’ changing needs. Consigned inventory is a great example of how MSP has continued to evolve.”

“We’ve also added to the number of components we cover, including parts for new business aviation platforms. And last year we expanded MSP-Avionics coverage options to include not just Honeywell systems, but products made by third-party suppliers like L-3, Viasat, Boeing (formerly Aviall) and Universal Avionics Systems as well,” he added. 

MSP-Avionics now includes extended programs to address obsolescence issues. For example, if an old-school CRT display fails on a covered aircraft, the MSP provides an economical way for the operator to replace the obsolete and unsupported display with an upgraded LCD, without investing in a full-scale cockpit update.    

On the engines side, Honeywell recently added two levels of optional nacelle coverage for HTF engines enrolled in the MSP-Propulsion program. The “preferred” plan provides full comprehensive coverage for repair and replacement of nacelle components, including thrust-reverser doors requiring replacement. The “essential” plan covers repairs including corrosion treatment of nacelle and thrust-reverser components.

MSP-Propulsion also introduced a usage-based pricing model, which uses advanced data analytics through the Engines Connected Services Program to give discounts to operators based on factors like flight length, throttle settings and operating environment.

“As we move into 2021, more operators than ever before are recognizing all the benefits that MSP plans can deliver,” David said. “With the Honeywell MSP, they can rest assured that they’re getting an OEM pedigreed program, featuring genuine Honeywell parts and repairs and access to our legendary global authorized service centers and customer support network. There really is no substitute.” 

Kyle Krone
Senior Marketing Communications Specialist
Kyle Krone is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Customer & Product Support within Honeywell Aerospace. Kyle joined Honeywell in June 2019 and focuses on how to improve the experience for and reputation with customers


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