What is an Aircraft Hourly Cost Maintenance Program?

Unexpected maintenance events are inevitable during the lifetime of a business jet, turboprop or helicopter. Over time, maintenance can account for as much as 35% of annual aircraft operating costs. An Hourly Cost Maintenance Program (HCMP) is designed to give owners and operators comprehensive, flexible and affordable tools for managing the unpredictable costs of operating and maintaining their aircraft.

If you are new to business aviation or have not previously enrolled your aircraft on an HCMP, there are a broad range of benefits, whether the maintenance program is available via your original equipment manufacturer (OEM), or through an independent provider like JSSI.

How do Hourly Cost Maintenance Programs work?

The cost of maintaining your aircraft will vary depending on its age, make and model. Even if you own a brand-new airplane, the OEM warranty does not cover scheduled maintenance or major inspections. Scheduled maintenance events will spike, resulting in higher bills during periods of major airframe maintenance, and engine or auxiliary power unit (APU) overhauls.

In addition, there are unscheduled maintenance events and repairs that can occur any time you are using your aircraft and potentially result in a major impact on your annual aircraft maintenance budget. For example, the cost to remove a jet engine, transport it to an appropriate MRO facility for repair, install a loaned or leased engine and then reinstall your repaired engine, could run into millions of dollars that would not have been budgeted for.

HCMPs help mitigate unpredictable aircraft operating costs, giving owners and operators stability in their maintenance budget by paying a set fee per hour of operation, depending on the level of coverage agreed and the defined usage. Then, at the time of a scheduled or unexpected event, the maintenance program provider pays the event cost. An HCMP can provide a much more realistic and predictable picture of monthly costs and profitability.

Line graph showing how an hourly cost maintenance program can stabilize an aircraft maintenance budget.
An Hourly Cost Maintenance Program can significantly stabilize your aircraft maintenance budget.

What are the benefits of an aircraft maintenance program?

HCMPs offer many clear benefits to operators and owners who prefer predictable aircraft maintenance costs and financial stability. In addition to those key benefits, there are several other advantages to take into consideration.

Reduce aircraft downtime

Without a maintenance program in place, owners may increase their aircraft-on-ground (AOG) time as they seek to source maintenance options and negotiate costs for unexpected repairs or unscheduled maintenance. This unplanned downtime can have a severe financial impact on the customer and their business – often forcing them to make expensive alternative travel plans and impacting their bottom line. If your engine repairs are lengthy and a leased engine is required, an HCMP can offer a fast source of spare engines to get you flying again.

Benefit from a global network

An HCMP makes it easier for customers to secure maintenance shop slots by tapping into the extensive global MRO network and experience of an independent provider like JSSI. Those enrolled on an HCMP can call one phone number 24/7 to manage their aircraft event, with independent technical advice and support included in their hourly rate. Moreover, JSSI customers can directly benefit from pre-negotiated terms with the MRO, significant economies of scale, and access a strategically located team of more than 70 technical advisors to closely manage all costs throughout the event.

Enhance residual value 

Enrolling on an aircraft maintenance program results in an enhanced resale value, as verified by VRef and Aircraft Bluebook. These programs are popular with aircraft financing and leasing companies because they are viewed as a way to ensure certain maintenance standards are upheld, protecting investments and asset values. In addition, when it comes to selling your aircraft, you will often find that a maintenance program is an added plus point for a prospective buyer. If you are replacing your aircraft, an independent HCMP contract can also be transferred between multiple makes and models of aircraft.

How can I find out which program is right for me? 

When considering your options for aircraft and engine maintenance coverage, we recommend speaking to a program provider for advice, helping you make the best decision based on how you plan to use your business jet. There are a range of coverage options and costs available.

Explore JSSI coverage options:

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With JSSI, you get an expert team of Business Development Directors, Client Relationship Managers and Technical Advisors with an unrivalled wealth of knowledge and maintenance experience on virtually every jet and turboprop make and model on the market. Each year, this team manages over 10,000 maintenance events worldwide and can draw on decades of independent maintenance data. This team is your independent advocate throughout every maintenance event and is solely focused on delivering solutions tailored for you and your aircraft.

To learn more about the unique JSSI Advantage and the benefits of an independent HCMP, visit: jetsupport.com/aircraft-maintenance-programs.

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