If you want to make money with an airplane, you have to keep the airplane in the air. Every time an airplane is grounded it is extremely costly for the owner or airline.
AOG (Air is a term used in the Aerospace industry when a mechanical problem in an aircraft makes the plane unsafe for flying. According to a recent study, smaller airlines dealing with AOG situations can lose north of $20,000 a day, while larger airlines in Western countries with AOG’s often can cost up to $150,000 an hour.
The current cost for a new Boeing 777 fluctuates from $261.5 Million to $320.2 Million depending on the model that you choose. The average dry lease (only plane without crew) cost for the Boeing 787-9 ranges between $1.1 Million and $1.25 Million a month or over $36,000 a day. This does not take into account the cost of maintenance/parts or the revenue airlines are missing out on from customers.
As you can see, the Aerospace industry is a high stakes game and getting whatever part that is keeping the plane on the ground to the air plane as fast as possible is of the highest importance.
Take into account that the Boeing 737 is made up of 367,000 parts and a wide body aircraft like the 777 are made up of 6 million parts and you can begin to understand how difficult the logistics of fixing these AOG’s are. Airbus alone sources parts from 7,700 suppliers around the world and sells to about 400 customers.
The global industry and complexity of the components of these airplanes can make getting the correct part in the time frame needed very challenging. By 2034 it is projected there will be 7 Billion customers flying worldwide (double the number that flew in 2015) and you can see that the complexity of AOG’s and frequency is only going to increase.