Avelo Airlines got operations off to a flying start at the end of April. Following success at its Burbank, California base, it is set to open up another one in New Haven, Connecticut, during the third quarter of this year. With this momentum, the carrier is keen to get the most out of its data to fully optimize its services.
A proactive partnership
This week, Avelo announced that it has taken on GE Digital’s Electronic Flight Operation Quality Assurance (eFOQA) flight data monitoring (FDM) and processing solution. This application helps carriers fully utilize flight data to enhance their overall operations. Amid this announcement, Simple Flying caught up with Michael J. Quiello, vice president of safety, security, and operational excellence at Avelo Airlines and Andrew Coleman, General Manager of GE Digital’s Aviation Software business, to talk about the benefits to be had with the system.
Notably, with the solution, Avelo can leverage flight data to attain the highest safety and efficiency standards in the market. This process will allow it to take part in top-of-the-range safety programs alongside the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Avelo’s Quiello explains that the eFOQA system allows his airline to conduct more safety studies because it’s not having to do the usual tedious tasks such as manipulating the data. The system aligns all the data for Avelo to give it output. Thus, instead of being pulled back by the day-to-day trivial work, Quiello’s team can focus on safety studies and analytics.
Keeping on top of things
This approach could prove to be incredibly valuable for the airline. As an ultra-low-cost carrier, it needs to ensure that operations continue to remain cost-effective and that passengers can continue to pay low fares. Moreover, services also need to be run safely. Therefore, combining several insights from the data at hand can ensure that Avelo has the right balance.
“When the airline first started out in late April, we had an idea of how the airline is going to operate. So the first thing you want to do is say, ‘Is the airline operating like we’ve designed it to be?’ And that’s when you start using the data to say that ‘It’s operating pretty close to what we thought it would operate, but how can we make it better?’” Quiello told Simple Flying.
“Now you start using that data to try to improve the processes, just a little bit, and you can use data for just about anything, to understand your turn times, to understand your flight operations. So, all that data coming together really helps to make this a highly efficient system. When you’re very efficient, you lower your cost, and when you lower your costs you can pass it on to your customers.”
Benefiting the industry
By deploying eFOQA Mainline, airlines can analyze specific flights to identify hazards and evaluate mitigation efforts with user-friendly tools. After the data flight is processed, Tableau, a data analytics platform, can display the information in interactive, web-based presentations.
Importantly, this seamless approach can do wonders for airlines and even the wider industry to understand broader issues. Raw data doesn’t take external factors into account. The time of day, weather conditions, and location are not considered. However, after flight data is inputted in the system, it can understand trends better and help stakeholders look at any potential issues, whether they are individual, local, regional, or global.
“The FAA requires an operator to pull 88 attributes for a FOQA program. Attributes include how a plane took off, how it landed, and how much fuel was in the plane,” GE’s Coleman shared.
“In contrast, the newer planes to go into service, such as the Airbus A220, capture 24,000 attributes. There is an immense amount of data coming off of each and every flight from these aircraft.”
With all these data points, there are plenty of opportunities to optimize operations. For instance, airlines can better plan maintenance amid all of the information gathered over each flight. Notably, 25% of the maintenance budget from an airline comes from unplanned maintenance. Therefore, GE Digital is working with operators to utilize this data more effectively.
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Smoothing out the process
Overall, Coleman explains that there was a time when individuals not only needed a particular degree, but they needed to be able to program to make use of certain data. However, today, there are pilots and mechanics who don’t want the intervention of IT departments and are able to gather insight from the data in a simple, easy-to-use manner.
Just this week, Avelo shared that it is launching four new routes from Burbank this fall. It will head to Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado, Monterey, California, and Provo and St. George, Utah, throughout September and October. The company also announced another route from the Greater Bay Area to Las Vegas earlier this month.
With the airline quickly expanding so soon after its commencement of operations, it will need all the insights it can get to serve efficiently through its development. Data analytics will play a major role in the next chapter of global aviation as the industry strives to recover from the overwhelming impact of the health crisis.
What are your thoughts about GE Digital’s solution and how it can help airlines with their operations? What do you make of the prospects of Avelo Airlines and the benefits it could have with GE’s system? Let us know what you think in the comment section.