Etihad Airways and Lufthansa Technik have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore digital solutions that will aim to optimise the airline’s technical fleet and operations management.
The MoU initially covers the use of fuel analytics, condition monitoring and automated line maintenance planning products from Lufthansa Technik’s ‘AVIATAR’ digital operations suite.
Etihad will use Lufthansa Technnik’s ‘Fuel Analytics’ app to identify any unusual fuel consumption. The app makes use of artificial intelligence and full flight data. Lufthansa Technik said the interconnection between fuel efficiency and technical as well as operational events enabled “an automated root cause identification of degrading aircraft efficiency, clearly distinguished from operational factors like weather or navigation”. The app can also identify the effects of aircraft modifications on fuel consumption, it said.
The AVIATAR ‘Condition Monitoring’ solution will allow Etihad a real-time overview on the current status of all its aircraft and their components – on the ground as well as in flight. This will enable the Etihad maintenance department to proactively manage the condition of their Boeing and Airbus fleets by combining fault messages, parameters, flight information and maintenance information on one screen, Lufthansa Technik said.
Finally, the company noted, AVIATAR’s automated ‘Line Maintenance Planning’ app will allow the maximisation of aircraft availability and reduction of manual planning efforts. “By integrating data from different IT systems, this algorithm-based solution adapts plans for each maintenance location and across Etihad’s fleet instantaneously,” Lufthansa Technik said. “Any change in the flight schedule or maintenance requirements results in an updated maintenance plan that supports decision-making and makes potential planning conflicts transparent, thus allowing the airline to focus on issues where more specific know-how is required. The updated plan is then directly transferred to Etihad`s maintenance information system.”
Etihad Aviation Group’s chief operating officer Mohammad Al Bulooki commented: “For Etihad, better data and better insights into data means that better decisions can be made every single day. Therefore, Etihad is constantly looking for partners who can provide ever-insightful perspectives using operational data. In working with Lufthansa Technik, Etihad will improve the efficiency of its operation, reduce fuel burn, reduce CO2 emissions, and reduce maintenance effort – all while maintaining the highest levels of safety performance and onboard product that Etihad is known for.”
Lufthansa Technik’s senior director sales Middle East and Africa Tim Butzmann commented: “Digitalisation has become one of the strongest drivers for the aviation industry, and MRO is no exception to that. Thus, it is paramount for us to highlight the benefits that a smart digital tool suite such as AVIATAR can leverage for airlines around the globe. The more delighted we are now to have convinced a renowned carrier like Etihad to be one of the first airlines in the Middle East joining us on the digital MRO playing field.”