- 24 Mar 2020
- Robert Montano
- Engines - Biz Av
How many of today’s business jets are enrolled on hourly engine maintenance programs? Are these programs more popular with operators of particular aircraft categories and age? Mike Chase finds the answers in his latest JETNET >>KNOW MORE review…Back to Articles
All leading engine manufacturers in Business Aviation offer hourly engine maintenance programs to owners and operators of aircraft powered by their engines. Adding variety to the options available, there are also some third-party providers offering programs.
The cost to maintain an aircraft varies by make, model and age. Maintenance programs tend to be based on three core parameters:
Even if you own a brand-new aircraft, the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover scheduled maintenance or major inspections.
Whether the program is offered by the engine OEM or a third-party provider, it will provide various levels of coverage that an owner or operator can buy. Having chosen their preferred level of coverage, the owner/operator will pay a specified amount of money to the program provider for every hour the aircraft flies. That money will accrue to cover the maintenance costs of those powerplants.
Therefore, hourly engine maintenance programs offer clear benefits to owners and operators who prefer predictable maintenance costs.
These programs are also popular with aircraft financing and lease companies who see them as a way to ensure certain maintenance standards are upheld. With the advantages they provide, it might be natural to assume that the vast majority of the world’s business jet fleet is enrolled with a program, but that isn’t the case.
Engine Maintenance Programs by Manufacturer
As reported to JETNET by the operators, there are 9,157 business jets enrolled with the top seven programs (ranked by number of enrollments). With an additional 387 enrolled with ‘other’ program providers, the total number of business jets enrolled with a program is 9,544 (see Table A).
This number accounts for 42% of the total worldwide business jets in operation (22,482). Interestingly, of the ‘Top Seven’, Jet Support Services (JSSI) and Textron Aviation are the only providers that are not a manufacturer of a business jet engine.
NOTE: While the data represented in Table A is gathered from the operators, it may not represent all of the reporting. In some cases, operators report to JETNET that their aircraft is enrolled on an hourly engine maintenance program, but the operator declines to share which program they’re
Engine Maintenance Programs – by Aircraft Category
Given the benefit of making engine maintenance costs more predictable, it’s natural to assume an hourly maintenance cost program would be more attractive to operators of large jets which have higher costs associated with their powerplants.
A review of JETNET data across all categories shows this is not the case, however. As illustrated in Table B, all jet categories have a healthy proportion of business jets enrolled on engine maintenance programs.
Notably, the Mid-Size category (highlighted) has the largest number of enrollments, with 2,018 (62%) of the 3,279 fleet on an engine maintenance
program. Super Mid-size Jets follow (49%), and then Large Jets (46%).
Interestingly, Very Light Jets have a higher proportion of the fleet enrolled on programs than Light Jets. Ultimately, JETNET’s data implies little correlation between aircraft size and the number of enrollments on programs.
Hourly Engine Maintenance Program Enrollment: By Aircraft Age Group
The number of business jets, by aircraft age group, that are enrolled on an Engine Maintenance Program is displayed in Table C. Out of the total of 9,544 business jets enrolled on programs, those aged between 11 and 15 years are the age range most commonly enrolled.
Notably, 66% of the business jets enrolled on an engine maintenance program are younger than 20 years old. While relatively few (6%) are enrolled in the 0-5-year-old range, this is likely to be due to the fact newer aircraft are still under warranty.
From the above summary, we can conclude that the most commonly-enrolled business jets on engine maintenance cost programs tend to be Mid-Size jets, and aircraft that are less than 20 years old (with the highest concentration among those aged between 11 and 15 years old).
However, a closer scrutiny of the numbers might reveal some models adhering to the general trend more closely than others.
Are engine maintenance programs really as worthwhile as they are said to be? We recommend you contact a program provider to discuss the range of coverage options they provide and the costs. You will certainly gain peace of mind over maintenance costs – but you should also seek expert help to discuss whether the costs make sense to your particular operation.
In fact, the value of your aircraft may also be impacted negatively or positively depending on whether it is enrolled on a program. Again, an industry professional should help you discuss this, and choose the best option for your aircraft, if necessary.
More information from www.jetnet.com