Social distancing at contract signing: The aircraft manufacturer currently relies on digitalization when handing over aircraft - and offers other unusual solutions.
Even a small purchase at the supermarket around the corner is made much more complicated by the Corona pandemic. So what does the crisis mean for the delivery of a jet to an airline? International travel restrictions and Covid-19 security measures bring completely new challenges. Airbus has therefore adapted its processes.
The European aircraft manufacturer is using a digital platform to exchange all necessary documents and sign them in a legally compliant manner without the need for an on-site meeting. In the course of an aircraft handover, sometimes only a few of the customer’s employees would arrive, but sometimes 40 or 50, explained Airbus’ delivery manager Alain Vilanove in a conference call with journalists. Of course, this is not possible in the Corona crisis.
«The ultimate proof of confidence» Airbus offers three options for the Technical Acceptance Completion by the new operator. The airline or leasing company can send its own experts as usual, but only a small team. This also requires special permits if the guests are not from the Schengen area.
If it is not possible to travel to Toulouse or Hamburg, the customer can also commission a certified local company to check the aircraft on his behalf. Airbus can also assign employees to inspect and test everything in the customer’s interest – «the ultimate proof of confidence,» says Vilanove.
Pegasus sent pilots with their own aircraft
During the transfer flight, the customer also has the option of sending his own pilots, hiring a third party company on site or using Airbus pilots. «It’s not standard, but recently our pilots took an aircraft to a customer in Asia,» says the Airbus manager. The cockpit crew then had to return to Europe, and that without scheduled flights. «They transferred directly to a corporate jet, which we used to bring them back to Toulouse,» says Vilanove.
Another customer who has already taken over aircraft with the new Airbus procedure is Pegasus Airlines. The Turkish airline received aircraft from the A320 Neo Family. It sent its own pilots with its own aircraft to Airbus in Hamburg Finkenwerder. According to Vilanove, the German government had specially approved this entry. The pilots had not stayed there for long, but had quickly taken off on the transfer flight.
Solution of the future, even without Corona?
With all this, of course, all health regulations are complied with, the manager emphasizes. For example, the body temperature of the guests is measured. In addition, the company has its own hotels in Toulouse and Hamburg, should customer employees stay overnight.
Vilanove said that around 50 percent of deliveries since mid-March have been made using the new process called E-Delivery. He expressed his conviction that it will continue to characterise handovers after the Corona crisis. This would save time and money for all parties involved.