Airbus' A330/A340 aircraft Family has achieved a significant maintenance cost improvement due to the optimisation of scheduled maintenance programme intervals.
These improvements comprise an extension of the interval for "A-check" maintenance inspections from the existing 600 flight hours to a new level of 800 flight hours, as well as a two-year extension of the Heavy Maintenance check interval to 12 years.
The increase in interval between A-checks will result in a reduction of these routine inspections from seven per year to five annually for a typical aircraft utilisation of 4,400 flight hours per year, thereby increasing aircraft availability. Airbus' new 12-yearly Heavy Maintenance check interval will allow operators to synchronise their six-yearly Intermediate maintenance checks and 12-yearly Heavy Maintenance inspections, leading to a reduction of one Heavy check in an aircraft's operating lifetime.
"The revised intervals are an improvement which will potentially result in airframe maintenance cost savings of up to six percent - the equivalent of approximately $1 million savings per aircraft over a 15 year period at present values," explained Frank Schreiber, Airbus Vice President Maintenance Programmes and Services.
Charles Champion, the Executive Vice President Customer Services at Airbus, said these increases in regular maintenance inspections underscore Airbus' on-going commitment to optimise the maintenance programmes for its aircraft - further reducing overall direct maintenance costs, as well as contributing to efficiency.
Today, more than 950 Airbus A330/A340 Family aircraft are in service worldwide with 128 customers and operators.