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From AOG to OBC

Air Partner - 23 may. 2018

We are fast approaching the summer travel period. This is a crucial time for airline schedules and having an Aircraft on the Ground (AOG) during these busy times can have massive ramifications. Mechanical failures have the potential to cost aerospace businesses excessive amounts of time and money, so when resolving an AOG issue, every minute counts.

At Air Partner we are always sourcing innovative charter or Onboard Courier (OBC) solutions to fit with a client’s budget and timeline.

How to OBC?

An Onboard Courier service (OBC) allows our clients to move small packages and documents on the next regular scheduled passenger flight. It is very often used in an Aircraft on Ground situation (AOG) when smaller parts or important documents are urgently needed to get an aircraft airborne again quickly. It’s one of the fastest modes of cargo transportation and also known as ‘handcarry’. Our global network of couriers are carefully selected professionals with valid visas for numerous countries and extra baggage allowances. In logistical emergency situations every second counts therefore our OBC service stands for maximum speed with the highest security.

We have information below to highlight what you need to do in case you have to move small parts quickly for an AOG. 

Steps to get from AOG to OBC:

  1. Aircraft on Ground situation happens

  2. Send us your enquiry by email to or call us:

  3. You will get an offer within the next 25 minutes

  4. On acceptance of our quote, one of our reliable Onboard Couriers will collect your shipment and board the next suitable scheduled passenger flight.

  5. Our team will be available for you 24/7 and take care that your OBC delivery will arrive in time.

  6. The delivery can also be tracked via our RED-TRACK system, a real-time tracking system with smart, instant, in-transit visibility on every shipment booked with Air Partner.

Information that we require...

 ...from you for an OBC quotation in order to be able to react as quick as possible:

  1. Time and date when cargo is ready

  2. Pick up & delivery address

  3. Type of cargo and value

  4. Weight, number of pieces & dimensions

  5. Any special information

Call us for your next AOG. Our 24/7 team are on hand to offer real time consultation and assistance immediately.


This is an example on how we have successfully completed an OBC mission from London (LHR) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG)

08:57 – An OBC request came in for an AOG in Rio de Janeiro.  It is for a small part that is essential for a flight the following day and currently located in Derby, UK. The client was unsure when the part would be ready and therefore asked for a late afternoon and evening departure from London Heathrow that day.

09:11 – We have over 10 OBCs based in London and quickly find one that is only currently 20 minutes away from London Heathrow Airport. We then offered two solutions based on two separate flights. One is based on routing via Sao Paulo on a flight leaving Heathrow at 22:10 and the second one is via Paris Charles de Gaulle for a flight departing at 20:20.

09:15 – The client offered feedback and said that the later flight through Sao Paulo will be the best option if this goes ahead. The client was unsure exactly when the part will be ready.

11:35 – Client called us to say they will make a decision at 15:00 Local time.

15:00 - We got confirmation for the OBC job to Rio de Janeiro. We then organised a courier to head to Heathrow for 22:10 departure time. We then organized for the part to be collected in Derby and brought to LHR Terminal 3 for 19:00. We set up the RED-TRACK system to notify the client on every single movements from check in, boarding, customs clearance and to delivery.

15:10 – We confirmed the availability of the OBC and flights tickets.. It is important that we use experienced OBCs for these critical AOG missions. The client sent us the pickup information so that we can organise a local courier company in Derby to collect the cargo at 1600.

15:30 – The client asked if we can organise export clearance as they do not have the expertise to undertake this themselves. We were able to use our local contacts and organise the export clearance, a part of the OBC service that we have conducted quite regularly.

16:00 – Our local courier company collected the box and made their way to Heathrow Airport. Our client confirms the contact for delivery at Rio De Janeiro Airport. We organised all export clearance documentation and prepared an information pack for our OBC courier.

17:45 – We added the final touches to our information pack and confirmed all delivery details. We then sent it to our OBC. Our OBC printed the pack out and then fully prepared for a trip to sunny Brazil!

18:45 – Our OBC arrived at Terminal 3 at LHR and awaited the arrival of our courier van.

19:00 – Our van arrived and the courier has secured the box. They then proceeded to the check in area to check in the cargo.

19:15 - Our OBC passed security and being cleared by UK Border force.

21:30 – Our courier confirmed the cargo was loaded onto the aircraft and proceeded to board the flight.

22:10 – Flight departed on time and we notified the client through RED-TRACK and with a courtesy phone call.

Next day

05:30 – Our courier arrived into Sao Paulo Airport and proceeded to passport control and export clearance, using our information pack everything was quickly provided to the Brazilian customs.

06:20 – Our courier arrived in the arrival halls and proceeded to check in the cargo as customs clearance had to be undertaken in the first port of entry.

07:00 – Our courier passed security and awaiting gate information.

09:00 – The courier arrived at the gate and began boarding immediately. The cargo was loaded on the aircraft.

09:40 – Flight takes off for the short flight to Rio de Janeiro.

10:45 – The flight arrived and our courier made its way to the luggage belt. They made contact with the delivery contact and arranged to meet in the arrivals hall.

11:00 – Our courier received a signed Proof of Delivery form from our pick up contact. They pick up the cargo and transfered quickly to the AOG aircraft in order to get it serviceable in time for the scheduled flight to Europe that evening.

Although with this OBC there was plenty of lead-time, it is important to note that we have experience in organizing many AOG OBC where we only have minutes to make a flight or to book the last seat on an aircraft. Communication is key and the feedback we get from many of our clients is; that RED-TRACK, is invaluable in keeping the client informed of every movement of the OBC.