Delta Air Lines is one of the world’s major airlines, carrying almost 165 million passengers every year. It was named 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine. Until recently, it operated exclusively at Heathrow’s Terminal 4. Significant growth means that Delta now needs more slots and is expanding its operation into Terminal 3.
With growth comes administrative strain. If an aircraft is not in the air, it is a cost; and the longer an aircraft stays on the ground, the more it costs the airline.
With an increased number of flights comes increased difficulty in maximising air time and minimising ground time. Key to any solution is ensuring that all aircraft are exactly where they should be at any particular time whether that’s for loading and takeoff, refuelling, parking or offloading.
Missed slots are expensive. In addition to fines levied by the airport, additional peripheral costs are incurred, potentially including hotel costs for delayed passengers, and loss of the passengers’ goodwill and possible future business.
Efficient aircraft turnaround time and despatch are therefore essential to minimise costs and maximise profits. Reliable ground-to-ground communications are vital to achieving seamless ground operations and therefore timely aircraft turnaround.
Affini has been a trusted partner of Delta Air Lines for 20 years. When the airline experienced an increased communications requirement following its own expansion into Terminal 3, it was natural that it should look to Affini.
The result is a renewed and expanded commitment to Affini’s community network for a further five years.
Delta now uses more than 60 radio devices (Motorola GP680s) for more than 150 personnel to communicate over Affini’s community trunk network within and between Terminals 3 and 4.
The primary mission-critical purpose is to streamline Delta’s aircraft turnaround and despatch times and to ensure that no aircraft ever misses its take-off slot.