To put this in context, EasyJet’s maintenance costs represented 6% of its 2012 expenditures, compared to an industry average of 15-20%, according to TeamSAI figures.
Part of its efficiencies stem from the airline’s engineering team having made a big leap in 2010, when it finished a two-year project to bring its engineering management processes in-house. At the same time, it implemented Swiss Aviation Software’s AMOS maintenance system. Having this functionality in-house “gives us a deeper understanding of our aircraft and the performance of our suppliers,” says Smith. Placing EasyJet’s maintenance and operations control centers side-by-side at its Luton Airport headquarters west of London also gives it better control of the front line and on-time performance, which is one of EasyJet’s bedrock operating principles.
“We operate a complex jigsaw puzzle but try to make it as simple as possible by having standardized processes across maintenance bases and line stations,” says Smith.
Perhaps the jigsaw puzzle only has four pieces, which are EasyJet’s four goals: build number-one and number-two network positions in its markets; maintain cost advantages; drive demand, conversion and yields; and exercise capital discipline.
And really, the big aircraft order and maintenance vendor announcements fit in the puzzle.
But as Smith said during Aviation Week’s MRO Europe Conference in London, planning is more than just individual pieces: “You need to have a big radar.” This is part of the reason EasyJet is evaluating engine shop visit costs for 2025-28 even today.