Archive for October, 2011

Improved Brand Image through Effective External Aircraft Cleaning

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

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Forming an efficient external aircraft cleaning program has long been a crucial element in brand image for every airline. Nothing creates a better first impression for travelers and airport staff than seeing a pristine aircraft. Because of the care and dedication involved with cleaning an aircraft crown to tail and everywhere in between, the attention to detail does not go unnoticed.

Regular corrosion of aircraft is not only caused by acid rain and sleet, but also through the use of de-icing chemicals, runway salt, and improper cleaning methods. A successful aircraft cleaning program eliminates this harsh weathering and solves the growing challenges of complying with waste disposal constraints of the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA).

PrimeFlight Aviation Services established PrimeFlight X-Wash as a specialized division of the company, developed to address this highly specialized need in the aircraft cleaning industry.  Regular exterior aircraft cleaning extends paint life, enabling longer intervals between repainting. Exterior washing also maintains the integrity of the paint through processes that remove oxidants and potentially harmful chemicals. PrimeFlight’s application of a UV protective wax goes even further to protect the aircraft’s skin. As travelers heavily invest in their airline preference, a sparkling brand image shows your commitment to provide the highest quality passenger experience.

PrimeFlight’s external aircraft cleaning processes — combined with their specialty services like the cleaning and disinfecting of cargo bins, wheel well cleaning, flap track and leading edge cleaning — all contribute to a clean, smooth aircraft; meaning less drag, increased fuel optimization and minimized corrosion. With an experienced leadership team and proven track record, PrimeFlight’s X-Wash program provides additional cost savings for your airline while ensuring a safe and happy passenger experience.

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Centralized Wheelchair Dispatching – A Better Model

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Wheelchair DispatchAir travel continues to change in response to the needs of the public it serves. Demand for the lowest possible fare has resulted in decreased services and amenities, with one exception:airline wheelchair services. Passengers with special needs are traveling in record numbers, thanks in part to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its requirement that special needs passengers be given reasonable accommodations.

Hub and spoke systems — and the high potential for passengers to transfer from one flight to another — and airline code sharing — when passengers transfer between two (or multiple) different airlines during their journey — mean that it can be difficult to track SSR passengers once they are downline.

Centralized wheelchair dispatching and tracking systems are the solution to providing continuity of service while assuring the right resources are dispatched based on each passenger’s needs. One ongoing challenge is that different airlines’ computer systems often do not communicate well with each other, if at all, causing a breakdown in the tracking and dispatching process. The result is that special services request (SSR) passengers may not have assistance waiting for them at their destination.

Primeflight Aviation Services has developed a technology platform that provides greatly improved passenger SSR services. We utilize a cloud based dispatch and tracking system that routes multiple airports through a single dispatcher, improving control over the process. The system holds data for five years, allowing airlines to respond to queries from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the ADA using real-time technology, thanks to timestamping of all services provided. PrimeFlight is also able to provide airline wheelchair dispatch services for passengers even when we aren’t the company providing the service. When it is your family member traveling, this means everything; the last thing you want is for your loved one to be left stranded and unattended at a strange airport.

For airlines, partnering with PrimeFlight is a cost effective means of ensuring your passengers receive excellent customer care. PrimeFlight’s automated system means improvement in SSR passenger response scores, which has positive impact on your airline’s position within DOT rankings. The use of one dispatcher as opposed to separate dispatchers at each airport allows for smaller staffing needs, which produces a significant labor cost savings. PrimeFlight’s software also allows for trend analysis which means you’ll have greater control on adjusting your staffing grid to match seasonal needs, whether that means ramping up or ramping down.

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Centralized Wheelchair Dispatching Creates Cost Savings & Happy Passengers

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

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In an ideal travel world, all fights would be non-stop. But in reality, increased operational costs for airlines has required the adoption of a more fiscally sustainable model of operations, including a reduction in direct flights and condensed operations at some airports. These approaches present a challenge to airlines and passengers alike when it comes to Special Service Requests.

Recently issued government statistics show more than 34,000 disabled flyers have complained about their treatment, and 54% of the incidents have involved wheelchair assistance. That’s nearly equal to 1 complaint per 100,000 passengers about inadequate wheelchair assistance. And, it’s estimated that by 2030 nearly 39% of the U.S. population will be disabled, resulting in about 53 million more disabled people than in 1997, of which around a third of fly at least once every two years. In all, the challenge of a better SSR approach represents one of the biggest opportunities for airlines.

But, can airlines meet and exceed disabled passengers’ needs while also realizing increased operational efficiencies?

The simple answer is yes, through streamlining and centralizing the dispatching of wheelchair services and other SSRs.

Centralized dispatch services automate and consolidate the dispatch and execution of Special Service Requests (SSR) like wheelchair transport orders. With this model, wheelchair requests are received at a centralized location through direct requests from airports or through the airlines reservation systems. Utilizing a cloud based technology platform, dispatchers can look at a passengers entire travel day, including any connections, and dispatch wheelchair services across the entire reservation, even when a different wheelchair service provider performs the push from connection to connection.

A centralized dispatch platform automatically locates the wheelchair technician who is best positioned to fulfill the request. A dispatcher sends the request - including the passengers identity, specific location and pick up time - to a highly specialized Smartphone. Real-time updates go directly to the wheelchair technician in the event of a gate change. Pick-ups and deliveries are recorded on the Smartphone, which transfers all data about the push back to a central cloud-based server where it is stored for up to five years. Data is guaranteed to be accurate in case of a complaint, providing DOT Part 382 claim response in real-time. The streamlined workflow improves accuracy and efficiency, resulting in fewer flight delays. Most importantly, disabled passengers aren’t left wondering when and from whom assistance will arrive.

In total, a central dispatch platform eliminates the need for a dispatcher at each airport. It automatically adjusts for seasonal SSR demands or scheduling changes, and it reduces staffing overhead while improving coverage. The result is considerable cost savings to airlines looking for a better solution.

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