Delta seeks 100 percent reliability with predictive maintenance technology

By Catherine Simmons

As Delta continues to focus on further improving its industry-leading operational reliability, the airline is investing in new tools and technology to further eliminate maintenance cancellations and enhance the customer experience.

Delta’s latest investment is a multi-year agreement with Airbus to use the Skywise open-data platform and related predictive maintenance services. As the first major U.S. carrier to invest in the tool, Delta will utilize Skywise on its A320 and A330 aircraft to track and analyze operations and performance data so it can assess the failure probabilities of aircraft parts to anticipate maintenance tasks before they’re needed.

“The time is right to invest in this technology because we’ve built the most reliable airline operation in the world with the best people and processes already in place,” said Gil West, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Adding Skywise to our stable of innovative TechOps tools will support our teams in their work to improve Delta’s performance by the fractions needed to reach our ultimate goal of 100 percent reliability.”

Delta TechOps teams keep the airline’s more than 850 mainline aircraft flying safely worldwide each and every day. Year-to-date the team has logged 248 days without a single maintenance-related cancellation, which has contributed to the airline going 100 days without a single mainline or regional partner cancellation this year. Between 2013 and 2017, Delta TechOps jumped from 169 cancel-free days to 324.

In 2015, Delta TechOps began working with Airbus on developing the manufacturer’s initial predictive program, Prognostic Risk Management, by co-designing, testing and making improvement recommendations about some of its key features. Delta TechOps will continue to partner with Airbus on Skywise, the next evolution of predictive offering, which complements Delta’s focus on using technology to predict when maintenance should be performed and eliminate unscheduled maintenance events.

“With a success rate of over 95 percent, our predictive maintenance program is just another way we’re building the world’s most reliable airline and providing a new standard of reliability to customers,” said Don Mitacek, Senior Vice President — TechOps. “Our incredibly skilled engineers and our home-grown processes for how to use data will continue to set Delta apart from the pack.”

Delta CEO Ed Bastian added, “Skywise is the latest example of our great partnership with Airbus. Delta people are continuously focused on improving the experience for customers, and this new tool will enable them to provide an exceptional, reliable experience.”

 

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