Benchmarking maintenance cost and reliability against industry averages is a good way to begin to understand where an airline is on the journey to more efficient, effective MRO practices. Fortunately, industry groups are beginning to provide such data,
Forty-eight reporting airlines spent an average of $828 per flight hour and $1,565 per flight cycle in maintaining their narrowbody aircraft in 2017, according to IATA’s latest Maintenance Cost Task Force survey. These narrowbodies averaged 9.1 years of age and flew an average of 8.3 hours per day. Dispatch reliability was 98.75%.
Thirty-seven airlines reported widebody maintenance costs for 2017, which averaged $1,410 per flight hour and $7,319 per flight cycle. These double-aisle jets were younger, averaging 8.7 years in age, but flown more intensely, 10.9 hours per day, on average. Reliability was slightly lower than for narrowbodies, at 98.20%.
A smaller sample of 13 airlines reported average MRO costs for regional jets at $860 per flight hour and $1,165 per flight cycle, for RJs that averaged 7.6 years of age and were flown 6.5 hours per day. Reliability for this young RJ fleet was 98.79%.
The same 13 carriers also reported turboprop maintenance cost averaged $1,036 per flight hour and $931 per flight cycle. These were the youngest aircraft, with average age at 7.5 years, and they were only flown 5.2 hours per day. Reliability was 98.63%.
Much more detailed data on maintenance costs, performance and operations, including trend data over time, is available to airlines that submit data to IATA, and IATA is eager to provide all the data to encourage participation. In 2017, 53 airlines reported to IATA, representing 4,706 aircraft, 18% of the world’s fleet and $20.05 billion in maintenance spending, or 23% of total direct and overhead MRO costs.
Across all fleets, maintenance spending averaged $1,095 per flight hour, $2,780 per flight cycle and $3.65 million per aircraft. Again across all fleets, average age was 8.9 years, utilization 9.1 hours per day and reliability 98.5%.