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Interview: Engine fleet management for SWISS

Quality, intelligent budgeting and open culture

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Optimized service life for CFM56-5C engines

Our optimized fleet management focuses on the life cycle of not just one engine, but an entire fleet of engines – and offers tailor-made services to meet the specific operator's requirements and goals. Simon Williams, Continuing Airworthiness Engineer for the CFM56-5c engines of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), explains how this service model works for him.

Interview with Simon Williams from SWISS

"A good price and convincing engineering"

  • Mr. Williams, what kind of technical support does SWISS require for its CFM56-5C engines?

  • We have a fleet of 41 CFM56-5C engines powering our A340 aircraft. These engines will continue to fly until 2027 when they will most likely be decommissioned. We naturally want to have optimally maintained and safe engines for our flight operations, but at the end of their service life the engines should have as little remaining "life" as possible.

  • Why did SWISS choose us for this task, what was particularly important to you when you signed the contract?

  • Lufthansa Technik offered us a good price for the services we need. And of course we also know about the good quality of the work – Lufthansa Technik's engineering background was convincing for us. The contract contains a mixture of event-based costs and "power by the hour" – so the costs are easy to plan for us and part of the risk is shared. Intelligent budgeting was also an important point. And last but not least, the open culture through which all issues can be resolved quickly and openly.

  • What services were and are provided under the contract?

  • First, we passed on to Lufthansa Technik all the data and the number of flight hours that we expect to fly during the contract period. From this, the engineering colleagues have drawn up a plan for the remaining planned service life of the engines. They determined how technical services and workshop visits can be carried out most efficiently. Through constant monitoring, the services are rated and adjusted if necessary. This flexibility is important because our initial assumptions were only rough predictions, which can of course change frequently due to changed conditions in the operations. In addition, unforeseeable events can happen. For example, we already had the case that an engine was damaged during transport – then we need quick solutions.

  • How do you rate our performance so far?

  • Right from the start we were very satisfied with the performance, also with the turnaround times. At the moment the turnaround times are a bit longer, but we think that this will stabilize again. As there is a Lufthansa Technik representative in Zurich, we have direct contact for all matters and communication is very good. Every week there is a telephone conference and at least twice a year a meeting where all issues can be discussed.

  • Have you had any other experiences with our engine experts that you can report on?

  • Yes, Lufthansa Technik's Airline Support Teams have already helped us with a few unplanned events for our -5C engines – both on-wing and off-wing. We were very happy with it; they acted very flexibly and did an excellent job. This is a very good addition to the fleet management support of our engines by Lufthansa Technik.

About

...Simon Williams

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Simon Williams is a Continuing Airworthiness Engineer at Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS). At Switzerland's national airline, he is responsible for all technical matters relating to the operation of its fleet of CFM56-5C engines.

Interview with Qoute

A good price and convincing engineering

  • Mr. Williams, what kind of technical support does SWISS require for its CFM56-5C engines?

  • We have a fleet of 41 CFM56-5C engines powering our A340 aircraft. These engines will continue to fly until 2027 when they will most likely be decommissioned. We naturally want to have optimally maintained and safe engines for our flight operations, but at the end of their service life the engines should have as little remaining "life" as possible.

  • Why did SWISS choose us for this task, what was particularly important to you when you signed the contract?

  • Lufthansa Technik offered us a good price for the services we need. And of course we also know about the good quality of the work – Lufthansa Technik's engineering background was convincing for us. The contract contains a mixture of event-based costs and "power by the hour" – so the costs are easy to plan for us and part of the risk is shared. Intelligent budgeting was also an important point. And last but not least, the open culture through which all issues can be resolved quickly and openly.

  • What services were and are provided under the contract?

  • First, we passed on to Lufthansa Technik all the data and the number of flight hours that we expect to fly during the contract period. From this, the engineering colleagues have drawn up a plan for the remaining planned service life of the engines. They determined how technical services and workshop visits can be carried out most efficiently. Through constant monitoring, the services are rated and adjusted if necessary. This flexibility is important because our initial assumptions were only rough predictions, which can of course change frequently due to changed conditions in the operations. In addition, unforeseeable events can happen. For example, we already had the case that an engine was damaged during transport – then we need quick solutions.

“We naturally want to have optimally maintained and safe engines for our flight operations, but at the end of their service life the engines should have as little remaining "life" as possible.”

Simon Williams from SWISS

  • How do you rate our performance so far?

  • Right from the start we were very satisfied with the performance, also with the turnaround times. At the moment the turnaround times are a bit longer, but we think that this will stabilize again. As there is a Lufthansa Technik representative in Zurich, we have direct contact for all matters and communication is very good. Every week there is a telephone conference and at least twice a year a meeting where all issues can be discussed.

  • Have you had any other experiences with our engine experts that you can report on?

  • Yes, Lufthansa Technik's Airline Support Teams have already helped us with a few unplanned events for our -5C engines – both on-wing and off-wing. We were very happy with it; they acted very flexibly and did an excellent job. This is a very good addition to the fleet management support of our engines by Lufthansa Technik.

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