Airbus has introduced a virtual aircraft hand-over and ‘e-Delivery’ process to ensure continuation of its delivery stream while integrating the health & safety factors required during the Covid-19 situation. The first customer to adopt this remote end-to-end process is Turkish low-cost airline, Pegasus Airlines, which has received three ‘e-delivered’ A320neo Family aircraft via this method. According to Airbus, more airlines will follow likewise in the coming days and weeks.
This e-Delivery approach comprises three main stages: Technical Acceptance Completion (TAC) tasks delegated to Airbus (or to a local third party appointed by the airline); electronic Transfer-of-Title (electronic ToT); and ferry-flight and subsequent reception of the aircraft at the customer’s base.
For the TAC (which is a prerequisite for ToT) the airline can delegate Airbus to perform all the necessary actions on its behalf. These actions include the ‘ground-check’, the acceptance test flight, acceptance manuals and procedures, as well as minor cosmetic rework, if needed.
Then for the ToT completion, Airbus’ and customers’ teams use a new secure collaborative platform named ‘e-SalesContracts’. This platform brings these teams together – wherever they are in the world – into one real-time virtual environment where they can optimise and simplify all the contractual transactions, from paperless drafting and commercially negotiating the delivery documents, up to the remote ToT digital signature. This platform means there is no need for any of the customer’s own staff to be physically present at the Airbus Delivery Centre.
Once the TAC and ToT formalities are complete, the subsequent ferry-flight sees the customer’s own flight crew (or an appointed third party) pick-up the sanitised aircraft and fly it straight back from the delivery centre to the airline’s home base.
According to the aircraft manufacturer, e-Delivery could become the blueprint for Airbus and its customers going forward.