13 October 2021

Case study

An Aircraft On Ground situation at San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU Airport)

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

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.

Recent AOG Case study: 

Recently, an Airbus aircraft belonging to a major airline was grounded in San Juan, Puerto Rico due to a technical issue with its engine. The airline’s maintenance team quickly diagnosed the issue and determined that a replacement part was needed. However, the part was not available locally, and there was no other option but to source it from the aircraft’s manufacturer in Europe, the airline’s techinal operations team immediately contacted us to explore possible transportation options. 

OBC Solution: We suggested using an On Board Courier (OBC) solution to transport the part from the supplier in Europe via Madrid to San Juan. After the customer’s approval, our operations team quickly arranged for a courier with a dedicated vehicle to collect the aircraft part from the manufacturer and drive it immediately to Madrid. 

There, our OBC was already waiting for the courier’s arrival to take over the shipment. The OBC then underwent thorough security and customs checks before boarding the flight to San Juan. The part was safely stowed in a specially designed case, and the OBC kept it in sight throughout the entire journey. 

Arrival at SJU Airport: Upon arrival in San Juan, the OBC handed over the replacement part to the airline’s maintenance team, who immediately set to work installing it in the grounded aircraft.Thanks to the prompt action taken by our operations team in corporation with the techinal department of the airline and the efficient delivery of the OBC, the aircraft was back in service within a few hours.

This successful OBC delivery helped the airline avoid costly delays and possible financial consequences.


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Need assistance? Our time-critical desk is available 24/7 to support you at +31 (0)23 751 9580 or via ops@myobc.eu