When international air cargo company Lufthansa Cargo wanted to go paperless with flight operations, the company launched their own desktop-based electronic flight bag (EFB) system. By eliminating the need to manually print updated flight charts, the EFB tool would save printing and fuel costs and help pilots get off the ground faster by making the departure process more efficient.
But the solution took too long to launch and added weight to the cockpit, with extensive built-in elements. Plus, certifying these in-house tools and applications with aviation authorities was a lengthy process, leaving innovation in a holding pattern.
So Lufthansa Cargo decided to lighten the load and speed up these approval processes by switching to a tablet-based EFB and using VMware AirWatch business mobility solutions to manage the devices and applications. Now, by the time pilots enter the cockpit, they have already completed briefings. Pilots now have their most critical applications—the Performance App to assess the engine prior to departure and the Charting App for take-off—accessible in just a few taps. Lufthansa Cargo also ensures these mobile apps are always working and ready to use with the AirWatch compliance engine.
“Switching from a desktop-based device to a mobile Electronic Flight Bag brought two main advantages,” said Sven Gartz, captain and EFB administrator at Lufthansa Cargo. “The first advantage was weight reduction. Mobile devices enabled us to remove extensive built-in elements from the cockpit. This generated a five-figure sum of fuel efficiency per year.”
The other main advantage is speed. Lufthansa Cargo can now quickly update the devices and deploy new apps to employees. “This saves the company money, because there is a cost for every minute a pilot is on duty,” he said.
Now that the company standardized on devices and apps, Lufthansa has also saved money on operations with the ability to quickly adopt new trends. Innovation is no longer stunted, with faster approval of new technology and business mobility initiatives.
“Since implementing AirWatch and the use of iPads, our operating costs have reduced significantly, and we were also able to reduce lengthy approval cycles with the aviation authorities,” said Oliver Grychta, team lead for flight operations support and crew control at Lufthansa Cargo.