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How Much Do Airlines Spend on Aircraft Maintenance?

Afraid of flying in an airplane? Luckily, maintenance checks of all degrees happen all the time.

But did you know airplanes are inspected once every two days? Aircraft maintenance is the biggest cost faced by airlines.

Read more to learn how much money they’re spending. 

What You Need to Know About Aircraft Maintenance

An aircraft needs to go through numerous checks before they’re given the green light to fly. Some of these checks cost more than others. 

For example, an aircraft goes through preflight checks, A-check, B-check, C-check, and D-check. These checks all vary in times and procedures. 

When it comes to a preflight inspection, this is visual, as well as internal and external. The aircraft’s safety is what matters most. The crew is determining if it is safe to fly. 

This process takes around 10 minutes and happens before every flight. If there is a problem, they are going to find it in this inspection. 

When checking external inspections, the staff is looking at the landing gear, the wings, structural components and looking for any missing parts. Here you can read more about those procedures.

Internally, sensors, gears, and any previous aircraft repair are reviewed. The crew checks the weather when taking off and when landing at the destination. 

Maintenance Costs 

Labor is one of the most significant costs to airline companies. This is why many employees face layoffs when the airline is not performing well. 

On the other hand, some airline companies spend $40 billion a year on aircraft maintenance. This varies greatly depending on how many aircrafts the company has, how old they are, and what type of aircraft they are. 

Many people suspect fuel is the greatest cost for aircraft servicing, but this is not the case. Fuel only accounts for 10-12% of the operating cost. 

Airline companies can lock in fuel costs by purchasing future contracts. Some other costs include taxes, marketing, airport fees, and luggage. 

Maintenance Checks

Maintenance checks happen at different times throughout the aircraft lifecycle. Some take many hours, while others take minutes. 

For example, A-checks happen every 200-300 flights and go over the emergency lights and parking brake, just to name a few. 

B-checks focus on the alignment of the aircraft wheels and look for fluid leaks and the overall gear of the plane. 

As labor is a high cost, in the C-check, it can take 6,000 or more hours to complete the maintenance. Cables and fittings are examined and wings are viewed for any damage. 

Finally, it can take millions of dollars and thousands of hours when it comes to D-checks. This inspection occurs every 6-10 years. It is better to retire the aircraft than to pay a large bill at this point. 

Fly on an Aircraft without Fear

If you’re flying on an aircraft soon, rest assured that the aircraft maintenance is handled and you’re in good hands. In no time, you’ll be on your way to wonderful destinations. Also, be sure to read more of our blogs on education and business.  

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