Delta signs for Skywise

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Delta Air Lines’ current 42-strong A330 fleet, including A330-242 N822NW (msn 1627), will be among the aircraft connected to the Airbus Skywise digital services platform.
P Pigeyre/Airbus

One of the world’s largest airlines has signed a multi-year contract with Airbus to use the Skywise digital services platform for hundreds of its aircraft. Delta is to use the Skywise Predictive Maintenance tool on its A320 and A330 fleets, which together total around 400 aircraft.

The agreement follows Delta’s involvement in the development of the tool, which involved co-designing, testing and making recommendations about some key features.

Skywise Predictive Maintenance is designed to help airlines reduce operational interruptions, maximise aircraft utilisation, optimise light operations and identify efficiencies and cost savings. Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said: “Skywise is propelling the aviation industry to new levels of productivity and efficiency, and it is truly becoming an industry flag ship. I want to thank Delta for their trust and confidence.”

Skywise has gained popularity very quickly, the agreement with Delta taking to 28 the number of airlines connected to the system following those signed with other carriers, such as easyJet, AirAsia, Allegiant, WOW Air, Emirates and Etihad.

Skywise uses the Rockwell Collins FOMAX onboard data capture/transmission module and advanced analytics applications to enable Airbus, its customers, other equipment manufacturers and maintenance operators to gather and track the many thousands of data parameters connected aircraft now generate when they are in operation.

Different applications are offered under Skywise. The Predictive Maintenance tool anticipates maintenance tasks and assesses failure probabilities by tracking and analysing operations and aircraft performance data. There is also Skywise Reliability, which integrates fleet-wide data such as parts replacements, light plans and delays and historical maintenance actions.

This analyses and measures trends in operational data such as fleet utilisation, in-service issues and line replaceable unit removals, enabling operators to identify the root causes of reliability problems and mitigate operational interruptions. Airbus says: “Thanks to Skywise Reliability, airlines have already reported that they can typically reduce the reliability process time from one week to one day.”

A cloud-based application called Skywise Core supporting the Skywise digital services enables customers to integrate in-house operational, maintenance and aircraft data, so they can store, access, manage and analyse data without the need for additional infrastructure. The cloud also enables airlines to assess reliability performance proactively against industry benchmarks.

At the recent MRO Europe exhibition in Amsterdam, Airbus executives reportedly said the company’s target is to expand the Skywise operator base to 100 airlines covering up to 10,000 aircraft by the end of 2019. Mark Broadbent