Airbus, manufacturer of the flagship A380 aircraft, has presented Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, with the prestigious award for the best ‘Operational Reliability Performance’ in the first year of A380 operations.
The Etihad Airways A380 fleet recorded an extraordinary 99.8 per cent operational reliability between January and December 2015. This is the highest level of reliability ever recorded by an airline in its first year of A380 operations. Etihad Airways’ A380 operational reliability means only 0.2 per cent of flights were delayed, with no cancellations, in the first year.
The award was presented to Jeff Wilkinson, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President, Technical, by Didier Lux, Airbus Head of Customer Service, at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.
In the airline industry, reliability is a critical key to success – from punctuality, revenue and yield maximisation, all the way through to the guest experience.
Jeff Wilkinson said: “This stellar performance is a result of the sheer hard work and commitment to excellence of our engineering teams. Our Entry Into Service, Technical Operations, Engineering, Planning, Logistics, Flight Operations and Guest Services teams, as well as our Airbus colleagues, are to be congratulated for this success. As Etihad Airways is flying the A380 with one of the highest rates of daily utilisation, with a typical turnaround time of only two hours, this achievement is all the more remarkable.
“The success with the A380’s entry into service sets a new standard in excellence that we are striving to repeat with the introduction of the A350 to the Etihad Airways fleet in early 2018.”
Didier Lux said: ““It is with great pleasure and pride that I hand this award to Etihad Airways today.” He added, “This unmatched operational performance in a first year of operating an A380 was made possible due to exceptional team work, the constant push for improvement and forward-thinking. We have set a precedent in A380 operational excellence.”
The winner of this award is determined by a thorough evaluation of the overall performance of the shortlisted airlines. Operational reliability is a standard international index measuring flight operations subject to delays or defects. High performance in this index verifies the operating capability of the airline and the priority given to maintenance and safety management.
Preparations for the A380’s entry in service started more than a year before delivery. The cross-functional Entry Into Service team included representatives from all areas of the company, such as Technical Operations, Logistics, Guest Services, and Flight Operations. The team was responsible for re-writing procedures, training pilots, cabin crew and engineers, provisioning parts and tools, and implementing new technologies to support the operation of the A380 fleet. It was this comprehensive preparation that formed the foundation for the outstanding operational results achieved during the first year of A380 operations.
Etihad Airways’ first A380 made its debut on the popular London Heathrow route from Abu Dhabi in December 2014. There are currently six aircraft in the airline’s A380 fleet, with four more scheduled for delivery.