by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 5 minutes  |  in Aerospace & Defense, Business Technology, IFS Cloud   |  tagged , , , ,

In an increasingly digital age, companies in every sector have already invested or are seeking to adopt software to digitally transform and futureproof themselves. Indeed, nowhere more than in the airline industry where legacy systems prevail. In a sector that has been heavily affected by pandemic pressures, increasingly, airline businesses recognize that their Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) operations are limited by their systems and are not able to offer the efficiency nor flexibility necessary to run fleets of aircraft. New MRO software solutions capable of handling the challenges of the 21st Century are sorely needed.

An increasing number of airlines and fleet operators are now turning to IFS, whose MRO solution has become the industry solution of choice over recent years. It comes with a cohort of state-of-the-art cloud-based features, so it is no accident its software has been confirmed as the number one aviation MRO software of choice for the world’s largest carriers by ARC Advisory Group—allowing for each to deliver that all-important Moment of ServiceTM to their passengers.

We speak with Dick Slansky, Senior Analyst, PLM & Engineering Design Tools at ARC Advisory Group, about his research study “What commercial airlines need from MRO software. ”

Pandemic pressures and grounded fleets have opened new opportunities

The pandemic and its consequences have brought long-standing issues with MRO under the spotlight for many carriers. Fleets were grounded, and maintenance staff were largely offered early retirements, buyouts, or placed on furlough to save costs. Those carriers using legacy systems struggled to prioritize flexibility and achieve efficiency. Furthermore, legacy systems were challenged by rapidly changing fleet sizes due to demand, increased stored aircraft, and a need to bring aircraft back online to meet rapidly increasing demands, all while coping with a lagging workforce.

But airlines are now on the recovery trail. This is confirmed by the findings of the ARC Advisory Report, which found: “Carriers are now in the process of ramping up operations to levels of pre-pandemic travel. They are resuming routes and getting parked aircraft back into service, but not without some operational and service disruptions. Initially, they depend on their MRO solutions’ flexibility to ramp up fleet/line maintenance operations to previous levels, and then resume periodic and scheduled heavy maintenance, along with component maintenance.”

As airlines begin to look at technology as key to their recovery plans, cutting—edge aviation maintenance software is central to their search. Why? Because this will unlock the potential of efficiency gains, which in turn allows for increases in safety, availability, and aircraft uptime.

IFS aviation maintenance software has taken center stage for carriers

The recent report by ARC Advisory Group lays out this push for digitization and not only shows how through offering industry-leading technology, IFS has become the market leader with a 25% market share within the top 20 carriers, but also the vital importance of redefining airline and carrier MRO operations with modern software solutions. Furthermore, the report also has a note of warning. Many carriers, it says, still use legacy systems, such as SCEPTRE, that are no longer sold or supported. This leaves carriers open to risk, both from mounting MRO costs and complexities. Additionally, they risk losing market share to competitors’ future-proofing by using pioneering systems such as IFS Fleet Planner, IFS Cloud, and initiatives such as the IntelligentEngine, a true lifing collaboration between IFS and Rolls Royce.

Airlines and operators already avoid turbulence with IFS aviation maintenance software

IFS aviation maintenance solutions offer industry-leading features such as simplified planning and collaboration, real-time alerts, time-saving tools, and more.

Customers who have invested in IFS aviation maintenance software have quickly achieved quantifiable MRO efficiencies. Take China Airlines, for example, through using IFS aviation maintenance software to digitize MRO processes, the airline has achieved: a 10% increase in line management process efficiencies, a 3% increase in A Checks delivery efficiencies, an average reduction of 30 days layover in scheduled aircraft maintenance, and an average reduction of 25 days layover in unscheduled aircraft maintenance.

Senior Vice President of the Engineering and Maintenance Organization, Mr. Houng Wang, commented, “We chose IFS Maintenix as our system of record for maintaining and engineering our fleet of Boeing and Airbus airplanes.”  Mr. Wang continued, “Collectively, the positive results we have experienced to date cannot be undersold.”

“In addition to generating substantial cost savings, we wanted to drive stronger visibility into our operations” Furthermore, Mr. Wang highlighted how “This would not only simplify compliance with regulatory standards but would also help us better understand why things happen and how we could best minimize the risk of it happening again in the future through preventive maintenance.”

Trends show technology is key—for carriers and passengers

The report concludes that “with the overall trend by the major carriers to move to enterprise-level core MRO solutions that are more comprehensive in scope, this should afford an opportunity for those providers whose MRO solutions meet these enterprise core requirements to replace legacy MRO systems currently used by these carriers.”

This move cannot be understated. For a carrier to grow and thrive in the current recovery environment, future investment in modern aviation maintenance software is vital. Not only will this just save time and reduce costs, but the streamlining of MRO maximizes aircraft uptime, leading to improved passenger satisfaction.

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