Although we like to call it an airline operations dashboard, the content shouldn’t be limited purely to flight operations information.
Conversely, a perfect dashboard combines information from different sources/areas, curates them, and visualizes it in a way the user can rapidly understand and assess the current situation.
Therefore, a dashboard has to integrate information from many sources and areas: Maintenance, revenue management, crew operations, or social media — just to name a few.
Airline Maintenance Operations and related Information are Crucial
Indeed, maintenance operations are one of the most essential parts of your operations. Accordingly, it is of great importance to include the essential information in your dashboard.
As always, the question is, “what is the most important information?”
Airline Maintenance is creating tons of information
Maintenance is creating a vast amount of data and information. And if you ask colleagues from maintenance, they gonna tell you that all of it is important.
Again, the idea is not to include as much as possible.
The goal is to select the critical information pieces. The kind of information that either has a tremendous impact on your operations or helps to gain the big picture.
From our experience with doing this exercise, usually, it comes down to six essential pieces of information.
Aircraft On Ground (AOG)
The word every airline hates.
It indicates that an aircraft can’t be used to due maintenance issues. These can be short-term issues but also long-term problems.
The number of AOGs (or in other words, the number of aircraft which have been planned but are out-of-order) is one of the most crucial information maintenance is responsible for — and which massively impacts your operations.
Therefore, you should show this information in a very prominent position on your dashboard.
We usually visualize this as a bold number on the aWall, solely showing the amount of aircraft that are flagged as AOG.
As the word says, these are checks which haven’t been planned on the day of operations but need to be performed.
Unexpected checks can result out of an AOG but can also be linked to smaller issues.
Similar to AOGs, Unplanned Checks reflects a critical piece of information since it is directly linked to the stability of your operations.
The information itself can be visualized again as one bold number (number of unplanned events) but/and also as a duration.
From our experience, it is useful to show both the number of unplanned events and the overall duration.
Planned Checks + Status
Planned Checks don’t affect your operations as much as AOGs or unplanned events do (at least when carried out as planned).
Nonetheless, it reflects a useful source to gain a complete picture.
We usually visualize this information as a table that consists of the most important related information:
- What kind of check?
- Which aircraft is affected?
- At which airport is the check performed?
- Schedule start and end date/time
- Actual start and end/time
Especially the last attribute (delay) can be seen as highly crucial for operations since this again impacts your operations.
Besides AOG, this KPI is of the highest value for operations.
The Event Punctuality can be compared to Flight Punctuality. It measures how many maintenance events have been accomplished on time compared to delayed events.
Usually, it makes sense to cluster that information according to the different maintenance stations but also to have on global Event Punctuality.
Standby Aircraft / Reserves
The amount of standby aircraft can be seen as a significant Key Disruption Indicator.
Therefore, we encourage clients to show again the information about how many standby aircraft are available as a bold number on their dashboard.
Standby utilization reflects an interesting indicator concerning the stability of the flight schedule.
The KPI set the overall flight hours of standby aircraft in relation to the total available standby aircraft hours.
In other words, was it necessary to use standby aircraft (to which extent) or weren’t they required?