How Aeromar Airlines CEO, Andrés Fabre handles the challenges of leading an airline.

How Aeromar Airlines CEO, Andrés Fabre handles the challenges of leading an airline.

Andres Fabre had a vision. A vision of being the CEO of an airline.

But he wasn’t just born into the role. He had to work hard, create value and transform the people and operations around him.

He started his career in the heat, tossing luggage into carts.

After time, he noticed that wasn’t going to be enough. Not to be CEO. He had to create value for others. He had to WORK faster, harder, and longer.

Andres began to realize something…

Why AOGs Drive Airlines Crazy & How to Minimize Their Impact

Great News! You can find this blog post featured on MRO Network. Markets are competitive. Finding the right economical balance between costs of Aircraft on Ground (AOG) and stock is critical.

It’s these decisions that give you, the operator, a competitive advantage. AOGs are a thorn in your spine. They give you an overwhelmed feeling deep in the pit of your stomach. A feeling you can't outrun. This is why planning and knowing your operational downside is important.

Skylink AOGs

Not all AOGs are created equal

Most carriers make the mistake of believing AOGs are costly. They use the term "cost" loosely. When there’s no pre-defined measure of what cost really is, airlines start making wrong decisions. When you're first battling your AOG problem, it’s important to know what your AOGs costs are. You won't be completely accurate buts it's creating a baseline that's important part.

AOG costs vary from airline to airline. They can cancel flights or delay them for hours. Passenger carriers don't lose revenue since passengers are re-booked. But customer moral sinks. Any delay, passengers get upset. Knowing a customer's lifetime value is smart business as it'll tell you what a lost customer costs. Early morning AOGs will screw up the entire day's schedule while late domestic flights will not.

Other scenarios are at play as well. Load factors, passenger mix and aircraft type all play their part.

If you’re a cargo carrier, you can’t simply rebook passengers. You may lose all revenue if the cargo isn’t delivered on time. This is why you have more support aircraft.

And if that wasn’t enough, you'll need to know the cost of other variables:

• Meals

• Accommodations

• Transportation

• Additional crew costs

• Mechanics overtime

• Component shipping costs

• Productivity losses

Then there comes the AOGs costs that affect the rest of the schedule. If this AOG occurs, what other costs will you experience throughout the network? Putting a figure on this is important.

Actionable tip: Know your AOG cost. A fair estimate is better than no estimate at all.

Create a parts stock model

You’ll then need to figure out how likely each AOG will occur.

Start with your reliability of no-go parts. These are the category 1 on the minimum equipment list (MEL). When these parts malfunction or go bad you’ll have an AOG to deal with.

The next thing you’ll need to do is translate the AOG costs you calculated into a required level of parts stock. In the past this was done through a Required Spare Provisioning List (RSPL) model. This is easier said than done. RSPLs vary in how complete they are and their overall sophistication. Some airlines will use these for initial stock provisioning while other airlines just don't have the time.

The RSPL model will help determine the aircraft part demands by airport and consider transport times.

There’s a ton of software that can help achieve this, if you have the budget and time for implementation.

Actionable tip: Compile a list of your no-go aircraft parts. If you lack the time and budget, work with your preferred spares partner to be ready for AOG situations. Create a transit time from their facility to all your airports. Be prepared. Then, once you have the time and budget, refine this process and make it more integrative.

Arrange your buy, lease or pools

Your next AOG battle is to decide how much capital you want to tie up on the shelves.

Some airlines and MROs prefer to keep their stock in house. They feel as though they’re more in control over their stock. If you go this route, just know the opportunity costs of the money that’s being utilized for this specific strategy. More airlines are putting more trust in aggregators, as that’s what they do.

You must decide if it's more beneficial to take care of it yourself, or outsource so you can focus attention to other areas.

Each is a viable option.

Actionable tip: Work with an aircraft spares partner. Talk with them about the exact problems you’re looking to overcome and let them come up with solutions on how to solve it. Notice if they talk about themselves, they’ll care more about their bottom line than yours. You’ll also want a partner who can support you on the expendables and repairs front as well. This will save you hundreds of hours every year with a tight focus on your entire spare needs.

Understand that once you have a model in place it won’t solve your entire problem. You’ll never know entirely what a real AOG will cost. There’s just too many variables. But having realistic estimates will save you a ton of time and money.

Understand your tradeoffs between AOGs and inventory costs and start making incremental changes.

In The News: Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet & Greece Won’t Wreck the Airline Stocks


Your next United flight could be powered by animal droppings

This could be a big step forward for the biofuels industry.

Get ready for a slightly ripe scent on your next United flight — the airline is going to power a plane with animal waste, reports the New York Times.

Original article by Ben Geier

[Tweet "Your next United flight could be powered by animal droppings"]

No, Greece Won’t Wreck the Airline Stocks

Airline stocks like United Continental (UAL), American Airlines (AAL), and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have had a tough year due to some very real concerns around revenue and capacity. Concerns about the impact of Greece on U.S. airlines, however, are largely overblown, say Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth and team. Check out more here.

Original article by Ben Levisohn

PICTURES: Vietnam Airlines receives first A350

Vietnam Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 on 30 June, becoming the second operator of the type.

The carrier plans to first deploy the aircraft on the key Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route, before moving to international services such as Hanoi-Paris, says Airbus. Continue here.

Original article by: Firdaus Hashim


How To Avoid Fatigue In Aviation

Do you feel drowsy and just roll out of bed? You're tired, sleepy and working is the last thing on your mind.

Fatigue in aviation

Once you get to work, you painfully manage to get through the day but at a great cost.

According to the FAA defining fatigue in humans is extremely difficult due to the large variability of causes. Causes of fatigue can range from boredom to circadian rhythm disruption to heavy physical exertion. In layman's terms, fatigue can simply be defined as weariness. However, from an operational standpoint a more accurate definition might be: “Fatigue is a condition characterized by increased discomfort with lessened capacity for work, reduced efficiency of accomplishment, loss of power or capacity to respond to stimulation, and is usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness.”

Problems of fatigue in aviation

A long day of mental stimulation can be taxing. Studies have shown that studying for an examination or processing data can be as fatiguing as manual labor. Manual labor and mental fatigue may appear different but the end result is the same, an inability to function normally.

In the FAAs Pilots Safety Brochure,  fatigue leads to a decrease in your ability to carry out tasks. Several studies have demonstrated significant impairment in a person’s ability to carry out tasks that require manual dexterity, concentration, and higher-order intellectual processing. Fatigue may happen acutely, which is to say in a relatively short time (hours) after some significant physical or mental activity. Or, it may occur gradually over several days or weeks. Typically, this situation occurs with someone who does not get sufficient sleep over a prolonged period of time (as with sleep apnea, jet lag, or shift work) or someone who is involved in ongoing physical or mental activity with insufficient rest.

Fatigue in aviation has been a major cause of several aircraft accidents. It has been estimated to contribute to 20-30% of all transport accidents and 70% of all fatal accidents in commercial aviation are related to human error.

The math is substantial and the effect is dramatic.

Whether you're a pilot, technician, or a procurement professional fatigue is real.

Maybe you bought the wrong $50,000 part, or installed the wrong component on your turbine engine. There may be measures to catch these mistakes but not all mistakes get noticed.

Fatigue alters your mood, cognitive function and is a pain to deal with.

Fatigue is easily mitigated

Fatigue in aviation can easily be reduced, unless you're a pilot with strict demands and an unalterable schedule. For the majority of us, fatigue is reduced by making a few minor life changes.

One of the best ways to eliminate fatigue is by getting at least 7 - 8 hours of sleep. [TWEET THIS]

Do not...

  • Consume alcohol 4 hours before going to bed.
  • Take work to bed.
  • Watch TV while in bed.
  • Use sleeping pills.
  • Eat a heavy meal right before bed.

You should…

  • Keep a sleeping pattern. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Block out all noises, eliminate any light and keep your room cool.
  • Get active. Being sedentary will affect the way you sleep. Do something physical during the day.
  • Reduce stress. No one goes to bed easily when stressed. Find ways to reduce this.
  • Get all your thoughts out onto paper. When your mind is racing it’s hard to relax and fall asleep. Write all your thoughts down and address them in the morning.

Fatigue in aviation is real.

Find ways to minimize this and you’ll see a noticeable effect on your mood, your work and your life.

How has fatigue affected you? Comment below.

Quality & Human Factors Interview with Zoe Holmes

We had the pleasure of interviewing our good friend Zoe Holmes. She serves as Quality Assurance Executive at Berjaya Air, Malaysia. Her primary focus is auditing internal and external aviation organizations and conducting Human Factor training course. She is not one to mess with and knows what she's doing. Here is our conversation.



1. What is your definition of Quality?


Quality refers to the engineering activities implemented in a quality system so that requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled. Quality also is the systematic measurement, comparison with a standard, monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that confers error prevention. Quality assurance includes management of the quality of products, services and inspection process.

2. What are your biggest frustrations when it comes to quality assurance?


There are many activities involve ensuring the aircraft, technical personnel and engineering compliance with company standards and Aviation authority Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia regulations. Personnel did not follow the procedure and do not take the job task seriously are the biggest frustrations when it comes to quality assurance.

o Is it difficult to adapt to these situations?


It is such a hassle when these situations happened and it is taking a lot of paperwork to submit to the aviation authority (Department Civil Aviation a.k.a DCA).

o How could your vendor’s and partner’s best service you during these problems?


Cooperation and assistance from the vendor and partners are the best service during these problems.

3. What’s one strategy you couldn't live without to keep your quality process running smoothly?


QA must understand the job functions of department or vendors before running the audit and prepare the checklist. So the audit checklist based on the job functions is one strategy to facilitate the audit process.

4. Now let’s talk about Human Factors:

o What is Human Factors?


Human factor is very broad field and when refer to the aviation maintenance, human factor is multidisciplinary effort to generate and compile information about human capabilities and limitations in the workplace. And apply that information to equipment, system, facilities, procedure, jobs, environment, training and personnel management for safety and efficiency as objectives.

o What are the key strategies in deploying Human Factors to your maintenance personnel?


The training section which is under Quality Assurance Department provide the human factor initial training to all certified aviation maintenance engineers (AME) and aviation maintenance technicians (AMT) who have had no previous training. The recurrent training or sometimes called “continuation” is taken after the initial training to refresh them every year.

o How do they respond to Human Factors?


Most of aviation maintenance personnel have positive feedback when they know the safety is their responsibility and they feel they are encouraged to speak up and take necessary actions to prevent unsafe conditions.

o What’s one thing you see the most problems with in the Human Factor field?


The most problems I see are complacency. Some engineers may specialize in a certain aspect of maintenance whereby the engineer may skip steps or fail to give attention to steps in a procedure due to the repetitive maintenance task. There is a list of the most common sources of problem or errors in aviation maintenance. This list is known as “The Dirty Dozen” and it has been widely acknowledged in the aviation maintenance community. They are lack of communication, complacency, lack of knowledge, distraction, lack of team work, fatigue, lack of resource, pressure, lack of assertiveness, stress, lack of awareness and norms.

o Is there a way to mitigate this problem?


We can’t avoid the error but we can minimize the error by evaluating, investigating, observing the aviation organizations with questionnaires or opinionnaires so that the organizations can identify whether they are working in ergonomic society and safety culture.

5. If you could give one recommendation to other airline professionals in terms of Quality and Human Factors what would that be?


Since the human factor training is required by FAA and EASA regulations in aviation organization, I recommend that airline professionals should establish and implement the quality and internal human factor program by understanding the human factor concept, principle and methods as human error prevention to avoid accident and incidents.

Did you enjoy this Q&A Respond to this email, we would like to hear from you.

Understanding Spare Parts Provisioning With Mr. Dawit Zeleke

We're back at it again. Just today we received a comment stating "Thank you for the Q&A. The content is very interesting for my job."  We were also told that "I very much enjoyed this Q&A."

This is GREAT and we are so happy that this can be of value to you. If you have any recommendations, or suggestions about the Q&A, email us. We would love to hear your suggestions.

Okay, now were on with the Q&A. This week we bring you yet another interview that is short but sweet. It comes to you from the country of Ethiopia. The unique operating practices of an airlines wholly owned by the government is unique, but still has the same problems when it comes to provisioning.

Let's take a look with what Mr. Dawit Zeleke has to say.


What are your biggest frustrations when it comes to aircraft spare parts provisioning?


The biggest frustrations are receiving parts without the appropriate documentation.

Is it difficult to adapt to these situations?



What are the reoccurring problems you face in the general terms of maintenance?


We will procure a part with the designated part number requested our maintenance head; however the part will be wrong despite having the same part number. Various parts with the same part number can cause procurement issues.

How could your vendor's best service you during these problems?


They can send a replacement part which will solve the problem prior to the aircraft reaching AOG status.

Now let's talk about vendors. Aside from price and quality of parts, what are the biggest issues you encounter with your vendors? Maybe it's a lack of caring, or their hard to get a hold of. Think more in terms of personality, than service.


Some vendors have low prices, but the part is not acceptable at our end after we've received it.

What would you like your vendors to focus on more to make you feel most satisfied?


Parts must be accompanied with an FAA 8130-3 and / or an EASA Form 1. Also the best price is a big factor.

In terms of MROs, what are your biggest complaints when dealing with repair shops?


We are constantly frustrated with our current repair shops and will source out the best one on the next maintenance project.

How would you like them to act towards you?


More than price we want high quality of the parts and to ensure functionality without fail. But as a buyer, price also plays a factor.

If you could choose one thing, what would you like to see most in your aircraft spare parts vendor?



Short but effective! We can all see the reoccurrence that yes price plays a heavy part in provisioning, but quality and the attitude of the vendor also plays a heavy part.

What do you think? Aside from price, what obstacles do you run in to? We want to hear from you.

Click here and tell us what's on your mind.


[dropshadowbox align="none" effect="lifted-both" width="autopx" height="" background_color="#f5a230" border_width="1" border_color="#dddddd" ]Bio:

Mr. Dawit Zeleke has been with Ethiopian Airlines for the last 18 years in multiple departments of the company. He is currently the purchaser for avionics and instruments. He is also a father of two daughters and has a lovely wife. [/dropshadowbox]

Understanding Spare Parts Provisioning With Mr. Frank Loo

Well, it's that time. We've had a great opportunity to interview one of your peers. He has clocked 42 years of experience, which is less than 5 years from when the first Boeing 737 entered in to service and well before the time of the A320 series aircraft.

Can we say experience?

Mr. Frank Loo is the Senior Manager of Procurement and Spares for Transmile Air Services.

Let's get started.


What are your biggest frustrations when it comes to aircraft spare parts provisioning?


Parts availability for redundant system is extremely limited in the surplus market. Going back to OEM will literary end with very long lead time with exorbitant pricing. Alternative option is to retrofit and this kit is very costly and man hour cost to implement is not cost effective either.

For normal parts, many surplus stockist or repair shops hold them in "as removed" conditions. This means that we have to accept the shop turn time which does not help when we have critical requirements.

Is it difficult to adapt to these situations?


Not much of a choice.

What are the reoccurring problems you face in the general terms of maintenance?


a) Component turnaround time is difficult to firm up. MRO will always qualify with statement "subject to availability of breakdown parts". Without a committed turn time, it is difficult to negotiate penalty of delinquency.

b) Warranty term is very short calendar days on basis of very old equipment. Repaired components are normally returned as stock instead of direct installation for aircraft. The warranty days would expire by the time component is use.

How could your vendor's best service you during these problems?


Enter into Fixed Price Agreement which encourages customers to commit volume to same MRO. At the same time MRO will have a better forecast for breakdown spares provisioning.

Now let's talk about vendors. Aside from price and quality of parts, what are the biggest issues you encounter with your vendors? Maybe it's a lack of caring, or their hard to get a hold of. Think more in terms of personality, than service.


a) Missing promised lead time is frequent. This happens when it involves third party supplier. As buyer we cannot complain directly since vendor will not reveal the third party name.

b) Price changes are forced on to buyer when the first third party supplier is unable to honor its sale for reasons only known to them and vendor has to resource in their network.

What would you like your vendors to focus on more to make you feel most satisfied?


Keep to promised price and delivery terms. Sourcing for old airplane parts cannot be the excuse since all suppliers must know their inventory accuracy to promise availability.

In terms of MROs, what are your biggest complaints when dealing with repair shops?


a) Long Turn Around Time (TAT) especially when they are the OEM and have no authorized independent repair shops. Operators have no alternative.

b) OEM arbitrary forced operator to go through appointed MRO for all repairs. This MRO/Vendor has no urgency to customers' requirements since they are acting a "middleman". At the same time OEM wash their hands of their commitment to the operator.

How would you like them to act towards you (quality and price aside)?


Be pro-active and sensitive to operators' problems and frustrations.

If you could choose one thing, aside from price and quality, what would you like to see most in your aircraft spare parts vendor?


Honor its commitment.


Did you enjoy this Q&A? Respond to this email, we would like to hear from you.

[dropshadowbox align="none" effect="lifted-both" width="autopx" height="" background_color="#f5a230" border_width="1" border_color="#dddddd" ]Bio:

Since 1971 Mr. Frank Loo has clocked 42 years of experience in Material Management, Supply Chain, Logistics, Initial Provisioning for B734, A300, A330, DC10, B747, B777, Twin Otters and the respective engines.

He started with a national carrier, Malaysia Airlines and has since been with Transmile Air Services for the past 6 years after retiring. His major roles have been project leader in automation for inventory management/control, automation in warehouse spares control, stocking and distribution, setting up a purchasing office in Los Angeles, head of component repairs management, freight management, design and overseeing the construction of new warehouses. This is of course in addition to many other projects overseen by Mr. Loo.

Academically he holds a Bachelor of Business degree from University of Southern Queensland, Australia and attended several aircraft fleet type courses besides airline management courses. [/dropshadowbox]