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Turning the Corner in Aviation’s Recovery – What’s Next?

Turning the Corner in Aviation’s Recovery – What’s Next?

As challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, it has also brought forth the best in us – resilience, resourcefulness, and inventiveness. But across the aviation industry, it’s no secret that we had one of the roughest years in our history. Border restrictions and closures brought the industry to a screeching halt. From job losses to plunging revenue and some airlines even shutting their doors, the impact of the pandemic has been profound.

But despite all these challenges, the past 15 months has demonstrated how our industry took a giant leap forward in our technological maturity. The industry underwent a massive digitalization effort, and we pivoted and created solutions that didn’t exist at the start of 2020. With the global vaccination roll out and domestic travels returning, the next 12 months will prove to be crucial for the industry’s long-term health.

But what’s next?

We need to shift gears. Especially as the aviation industry’s recovery is right around the corner, we cannot afford to lose the momentum we’ve achieved so far. However, to truly rebuild confidence in travel, we must focus on two areas: (1) Understanding our customers and (2) Streamlining operations to increase efficiencies.

Understanding our Customer

If we do not understand our customers, it will be almost impossible for the industry to fully rebound and grow. There’s only one way to accomplish this – by speaking directly with YOU – our customers. Throughout this difficult period, we’ve been in close partnership with our customers, listening and understanding the challenges they face and working out solutions with them.

As the pandemic started unfolding, we heard customers’ concerns around safety, cleanliness and of course, cost. In direct response to that, we rapidly developed and launched our UV Treatment System and UV Wand. This provided airlines with an efficient and cost-friendly option to treat an aircraft in under 10 minutes. That helped contribute to a noticeable rise in traveler’s confidence when flying during the pandemic.

As air travel increases, we are committed, more than ever, to support our customers to prepare their aircraft for re-entry into service efficiently. With most fleets grounded for extended periods, there can be a multitude of operational issues to work through. Every airline and operator will have different priorities and re-entry plans. We need to listen to what everyone’s plans are and understand the unique solutions and services they require. From there, we can create a tailored suite of solutions that address key needs. This will also allow us to have a proper demand plan strategy in place to support any surge in operational needs.

We need to continue these conversations and connections with our customers and operators to be able to truly bring upon aviation’s recovery.

Streamline Operations, Increase Efficiencies

Across the past year, there has been mounting pressure on airlines to increase efficiencies and reduce operational cost due to lower revenue. Airlines are looking for new ways of doing things, including planning and maintenance. We’ve also seen creative ways airlines have taken to generate revenue – from converting passenger flights into cargo to even venturing into food delivery service.

However, there is a need to go beyond temporary measures and take a long-term view. Just as how the industry has broadly embraced technology, how can we apply it to the processes that go on behind-the-scenes? On top of that, as airlines look to extend the lifespan of their aging fleets, certain avionics components will require a proactive maintenance schedule to avoid repeated visits to the hangar for service.

To this end, we have been leveraging our Honeywell Forge suite of solutions to help airlines cut costs by reducing inefficiencies in the system. This powerful tool empowers flight departments to help manage profitability and give them a better understanding of their fleet operations in a single view.

One of the key solutions that Honeywell Forge offers is the Honeywell Forge Flight Efficiency. Unsurprisingly, fuel alone can account for up to 40% of an airline’s operating cost. By analyzing a range of components from aircraft weight, engine utilization to fuel planning, we can find cost-saving tactics. This can reduce fuel costs by up to 3%, which easily translates to millions of dollars in savings.

The light at the end of the pandemic is in sight, and we have every confidence in the aviation industry’s ability to bounce back stronger than before. We’ve seen its resilience before, and now, we need to work more closely than ever to overcome the hurdles that are standing in the way of a full recovery.

To find out more about how Honeywell can help you in your return to flight, you may may check out www.honeywell.com  or reach out to me personally at Andrew.wong@honeywell.com.

Andrew Wong
Vice President, Airlines, Asia Pacific, Honeywell Aerospace


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