Aircraft Exterior Washing

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The economic benefits of maintaining an aircraft’s exterior appearance in terms of fuel savings and extended paint life are well documented. Add to these, enhanced passenger perception and the requirements of mandatory engineering checks and what may initially been seen as simply cosmetic becomes fundamental to the profile of every carrier.

Aircraft cleaning

Aircraft exterior cleaning at Gatwick Airport

Airline Services has long been recognized as the UK's leading operator in this field, providing its specialist service to many international as well as domestic carriers.
Our reputation for excellence is well deserved and is founded on the belief that the successful provision of exterior aircraft services, be they engineering, cleaning or de-icing, requires a specific and dedicated workforce and an ongoing commitment to investment in equipment, training and processes. 

Aircraft cleaning in progress

Airline Services’ exterior cleaning teams are, wherever possible, dedicated solely to this area of our operation, carrying out several thousand full exterior washes a year.

When the number of technical cleans, belly washes and specialist by hand cleans we carry out annually are added to this number it is easy to see why our crews are accepted as being the most experienced operating anywhere in the UK today.

Our equipment too is second to none and is fundamental to the success of our operation. We maintain a fleet of exterior cleaning rigs, with a minimum of two vehicles being dedicated to the service at every one of our nine UK stations.

Additionally at London Gatwick Airport, where washstands are prevalent, we offer an automated exterior cleaning service by virtue of the Dino wash robot. Using the Dino, our experienced crews can achieve a full wash in less than half the time required to carry out a manual clean, without compromising the quality of the finished product in any way. The benefits of this service to international carriers, with only limited time on ground in the UK cannot be overstated.

All of our exterior cleaning equipment is maintained in house by our own mechanics and their maintenance and service records are available for inspection or audit by our customers at any time.

If you would be interested to see the benefits of our exterior cleaning operation for yourself, we would be delighted to perform a trial wash on your aircraft at any one of our bases.

We would be pleased to discuss your requirements in detail. For a service proposal, please contact Nikki Farquhar on

+44 (0)1293 569550

While most of the airports at which we operate have made provision for exterior aircraft cleaning, in terms of dedicated washstands and waste water disposal facilities, some have not. Instead, at these bases environmental policies dictate that wet washing is entirely prohibited.

Of course this does not mean that aircraft based at these airports do not require cleaning and we have developed our own environmentally neutral, hand washing system, to meet our customers’ requirements, specifically at these stations.  So successful has this system been that to date Airline Services remains the only company sanctioned to carry out exterior cleaning at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol airports.

It is also worth bearing in mind that our exterior cleaning programme extends to the provision of automated and by-hand exterior polishing, on the line or in the hangar. The benefits these supplementary services offer cosmetically and, more importantly, in terms of surface protection cannot be overstated. The same may be said of our bright metal polishing service which has contributed to the pristine appearance of many aircraft and indeed airlines' inaugrual flights from the UK.