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MROAM: US Airways estimates $200 million swing from maintenance reforms

US Airways calculates a five-year campaign to reform and improve maintenance practices since hitting a low point in 2007 has resulted in around $200 million in savings, a top executive says today.

The Star Alliance carrier acknowledges that fleet reliability and service levels bottomed out in 2007 as management struggled to merge America West and US Airways into a single operation, Robert Isom, executive vice president and chief operating officer, told the MRO Americas conference on 5 April.

"There were integration issues that really still needed to be resolved," says Isom, who joined the airline in 2007.

As a result, US Airways lagged behind its peers in several important maintenance and reliability categories, including departure delays, lost baggage and deferred maintenance, he says.

In the last five years, US Airways has reformed its practices, and now leads its peers in several key categories, Isom says. The sweeping changes have helped restore the airline's profitability, which amounted to $111 million in 2011.

"You're talking about a couple hundred million dollars in terms of overall improvement," Isom says. "Running a reliable airline saves you money. It does help the bottom line."

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