Airplanes certainly qualify as high-value assets, and operating and maintaining a fleet of them can be a tricky exercise, especially in the airline industry, where razor-thin profit margins make it difficult to keep cash flowing in the right direction. That’s precisely why companies like Avexus were created.
Based in San Diego, the five-year-old software specialist provides a suite of applications that allows airlines and other customers to manage fleet maintenance by streamlining and consolidating processes related to work order management, inventory management, invoicing and materials procurement. Bottom line, Avexus saves airlines money.
Now, the company is launching a software suite designed to improve collaboration between airlines and outsourced maintenance networks. Called Network Manager, the solution’s capabilities include views of the current status of all airplanes within a fleet, classified by operational readiness; the consolidation of all outstanding tasks for each airplane that is currently out of service; mapping of aircraft availability against demand forecasts; an overview of maintenance capabilities at various locations; and alerts for situations that require immediate attention.
The core business model of airlines, fractional operators and others has transitioned to be more focused on outsourced maintenance, said Avexus president and CEO Richard Bergmann. Network Manager, he said, lets an airline keep close tabs on the maintenance status of its fleet, which in turn allows the operator to improve dispatch reliability. In other words, make money.
“Network Manager tracks specific tail numbers and provides near real-time information on cycles, what maintenance is due, when maintenance can be scheduled and what other specific needs, such as service bulletins, require special attention,” Bergmann said.
Island Air, Hawaii’s biggest regional airline, plans to start using asset management tools developed by Avexus to manage a fleet of Dash 8 Q400s the company has on order with Bombardier. Complicating matters is the fact that these are not new airplanes but aircraft that have been in service with other airlines and are coming off their leases. In such a case, it is difficult to track the maintenance history of the fleet. The Avexus solution will be hosted at Island Air’s headquarters and maintenance repair facility. The airline will use the software to ensure its airplanes continue flying as much as possible.
Airlines and other operators that sign agreements with Avexus can choose to pay a one-time licensing fee for the software or they can lease it for a certain period of time, usually three to five years. Setting up the solution takes three to six months, Bergmann said, and will cost the airline $150,000 to $250,000 if they choose to license the software. Avexus will also provide an annual review to determine if the software needs to be tweaked.
Avexus has 50 customers but hopes to add more with the addition of its Network Manager solution. The company is giving demonstrations throughout the show at Stand 16K in Hall A. Representatives are on hand to talk about other Avexus offerings, including a recent agreement with Messier-Bugatti for analytics, reporting and integration services. Messier-Bugatti produces wheels and brakes and landing gear.