Denver-based Frontier Airlines is teaming up with Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen, to roll out a digital solutions suite to streamline many day-to-day operational decisions at the airline. The ten-year deal will deliver a range of fleet-wide cost savings and promises to boost operational reliability at Frontier Airlines.
“This is a great example of our partnership with customers like Frontier to turn Boeing’s unparalleled digital expertise into operational bottom-line advantages,” said Ted Colbert, President and CEO of Boeing Global Services.
A new digital solutions package to streamline day-to-day operations
Frontier Airlines already uses digital navigation and charting services from Boeing. The new Jeppesen digital solutions suite will add day-of-operations decision-support tools such as flight-planning, scheduling services, crew management, tail assignment, and operations-control services.
“(The) crew-management tools will complement our low-cost business model while contributing to our system reliability and efficiency,” said Brad Lambert, vice president of Flight Operations at Frontier Airlines.
Pilots will be familiar with Jeppesen’s aeronautical navigation charts, often referred to as “Jepp charts” or simply “Jepps.” The business dates back 80 plus years when Elrey Jeppesen, a pilot working for long-gone Varney Airlines, made himself navigation charts. They were so good his fellow pilots soon wanted copies, and Jeppesen has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Boeing purchased Jeppesen in 2000. Jeppesen still makes charts, but they generally come in a digital format now. In addition to charts, Jeppesen sells what they call a “digital solutions suite” that helps airlines run their fleets more efficiently and effectively.
“We are fully confident that these robust Jeppesen flight planning and operational tools will bring tremendous benefit to Frontier’s operations from day one following implementation,” said Brad Lambert.
A digital package promises to shave several percentage points off airline running costs
As a whole of airline digital package, Jeppesen digital products now zero in on particular aspects of running an airline. They offer flight and fuel optimization services that Jeppesen says can provide significant savings in cost and significant gains in efficiency through data-driven decision making. Focusing on fuel, the Boeing subsidiary says their depictions of fuel consumption details and comprehensive analytics enables better decision making to reduce fuel consumption, costs and emissions, giving airlines like Frontier an opportunity to decrease fuel consumption by up to 4%.
Jeppesen’s network and operations management tools enable airlines to assign the right aircraft to the right flight to predict and prevent down-line disruptions. When working on the best airline routing, the product factors in revenue forecasts, maintenance, operational costs, and constraints for each sub fleet, or even individual aircraft. Jeppesen says Frontier Airlines can increase aircraft utilization, revenue (by adding capacity to profitable markets), robustness (such as improving ground time between flights), compliance with maintenance constraints, and schedule quality key performance indicators.
“This is a great example of our partnership with customers like Frontier to turn Boeing’s unparalleled digital expertise into operational bottom-line advantages,” said Boeing’s Ted Colbert.
While you rightly expect both Boeing and Jeppesen to spin a positive spin on their products, the usefulness for ultra-low-cost-carriers like Frontier Airlines is the ability to squeeze a couple of extra percentage points off their running costs. With travel demand down, revenues down, and many costs fixed, airlines’ ability to extract day-to-day savings wherever they can is more important than ever.