An Aircraft On Ground: a thorn in the side of airlines

It is a costly nightmare for airlines: an aircraft on the ground. Also known in aviation terms as an AOG: an Aircraft On Ground.

The cost of an AOG
If you do the math, you soon find out that an AOG situation can have major consequences: passengers have to wait or be rebooked, certain parts have to get to the plane (quickly) and experts are needed to fix the problems. All in all, an Aircraft On Ground quickly costs tens of thousands of euros per hour.

A study by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shows that the cost of delayed or cancelled flights in 2019, was $33 billion. This only covers flights in the US. By comparison, the FAA still estimated these costs at $23.7 billion in 2016 (same source). So the consequences of AOG situations seem to be increasing over the years.

What to do?
A strategy to prevent or remedy these situations as quickly as possible is becoming increasingly important for airlines.

What does such a strategy look like? An Aircraft On Ground cannot be planned. However, an airline can prepare for the situation by partnering with parties offering special services for these situations. The first thing an airline does: investigate where the problem lies. Has the problem been found? Perhaps the problem is relatively easy to solve.

If not, the right parts and supplies need to get to the aircraft as soon as possible. This involves enormous challenges, as an aircraft consists of thousands of different parts.

An example of an AOG situation
Suppose an aircraft is stopped at Johannesburg International Airport (JNB) due to a technical defect. To fix the technical defect, a specific part is required for that type of aircraft.

Often, airlines have collaborations with parties at airports they fly into. However, it often happens that the required part is so specific that it is not available on site. In such cases, logistics partners are called in immediately to see how the part can be transported as quickly as possible from, say, the Netherlands, to Johannesburg International Airport (JNB).

As MYOBC, we are specialized in performing this kind of urgent logistics services. Based at Schiphol Airport (AMS), MYOBC offers tailor-made urgent logistics solutions for AOG situations like this, among others.

The solution
MYOBC is ready 24 hours a day to facilitate customers with the fastest possible logistics solutions. One way to do this is through On Board Courier (OBC) services: specialized and experienced couriers who personally transport goods on the next scheduled flight.

This sounds simple, but it is not. The part must be made available by a supplier. Customs formalities must be arranged and the right qualified persons must be called in to transport the goods.

What does that process look like?
The moment such an AOG situation arises, MYOBC is called in to get the necessary parts to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible. A possible timeline then looks as follows:

5:13: An AOG situation occurs and MYOBC is called in

5:29: The client receives a tailor-made solution within 15 minutes

5:35: MYOBC receives agreement to carry out the assignment

6:00: Flight tickets are booked and the courier is ready to go

6:35: Parts are collected from the supplier

7:00: Customs formalities are taken care of

7:35: Courier and parts arrive at Schiphol Airport (AMS)

8:00: Courier goes through check-in, security and customs procedures at Schiphol Airport (AMS)

10:10: Courier personally takes the parts on board flight KL591

10:40: Flight KL591 departs from AMS Airport to JNB Airport

21:20: Courier and parts arrive at JNB Airport on flight KL591

21:40: Engineer on site takes delivery of parts and starts repair

23:32: AOG situation solved and aircraft is operational again

The result
The part could be delivered within 17 hours, returning this aircraft to operation within 24 hours. By comparison, with the fastest air freight option, the part could not have reached JNB Airport from the Netherlands after 48 hours at the earliest.

Think fast, move faster.


Want to read more about situations like this and curious about MYOBC’s services? Visit our case studies or contact us at




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