Sir - I would like to start a debate on airline follies. I refer in particular to those launched with much publicity which were promised to make millions for their masters, thereby saving ailing companies.

The latest buzz word is "outsourcing" seen as a means for small operators to get maintenance performed without incurring heavy in-house maintenance costs. Why is this a folly?

It is basically a question of scale. For the small operator, the burden of full in-house maintenance would be financially crippling. On the other hand, the major operators already have a large investment in their maintenance organisations. Their best prospect for reducing budget over-runs is to take on the small operator's maintenance. The large operator already has the manpower (often idle for short periods) and, of course, the tooling and spares necessary to support the small operator.

I feel, therefore, that it is complete lunacy for a major operator to hand over its maintenance to a contractor, which is bound not to have that operator's best interests at heart, especially if that contractor is a competitor.


Horley, Surrey, UK

Source: Flight International