It is peak holiday season in one of the busiest airports in Europe. On the tarmac, a large commercial airliner with 195 passengers bound for London, UK, is experiencing a power failure. After two hours of troubleshooting in 30 degree heat, the airline is forced to ground the aircraft. How the airline operates in the coming hours is critical, how it accommodates the needs of its 195 passengers and how quickly it gets the aircraft operational again carries risk: reputational and cost.
The estimated cost for an aircraft on ground (AOG) can be upwards of 950,000 Euro. So when a large commercial airliner was grounded in Athens, Greece, in peak holiday season with an auxiliary power unit failure and no local availability of the required part to fix the aircraft, the airline’s AOG team called Toll to arrange the urgent delivery of the required part, which it had sourced from a supplier in Phoenix, Arizona in the US.
The TCS team received the call from Europe at 8pm and immediately went into action, working on the best solution for the airline.
The most economic option involved shipping the part via our Next Flight Out service, which would see it arrive at Athens Airport just before 5:30pm local time the next day. Although shipping a part on the next available flight allows for expedited delivery, a degree of risk remains through delayed or missed cargo. During peak holiday season, passenger baggage and perishable shipments take priority over cargo adding risk to the shipment not reaching the destination at the anticipated time. In an AOG situation, the customer needs a higher level of security.
The safest option was for a Toll employee to personally escort the part from the supplier. A TCS dedicated courier was available to pick up the part within an hour of receiving the call and deliver the shipment for the next available cargo flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
In order to manage costs and still provide the highest level of speed and safe custody of the part, the TCS team landed on an On Board Courier and Next Flight Out mix. This involved using Lufthansa’s ZXO service (which gives a priority level to cargo similar to that of passenger baggage) from the part’s point of origin in Florida to Germany, and then using another airline for our TCS On Board Courier from Germany to Greece. This option would mean the part would arrive at Athens Airport by 12:45pm local time — five hours faster than the Next Flight Out option.
Security and speed are crucial in an AOG situation, but cost is also a factor.
Our longstanding relationships within the aviation community play an important role, allowing our TCS team access to suppliers at all times to put a solution in train immediately.
Our bonded courier was able to safeguard the shipment, helping to eliminate the potential risk of our customer’s cargo being offloaded during the shipping process.
The On Board Courier and Next Flight Out solution provided by the TCS team was faster than the standard Next Flight Out service, and allowed us to guarantee the highest level of security and traceability for our customer.