3Airline Schedule Planning Decisions

The airline schedule planning involves developing the flight schedule for a future operation horizon. It also involves developing the schedule of all resources (i.e. aircraft, gates, crew, and airport personnel) used to support the flight operation. To accomplish this task, several subtasks are considered in the airline schedule planning process. These subtasks include demand forecasting, competition analysis, determining flight frequencies, determining flight departure times, and identifying flight seat capacities. The schedule of resources entails determining the resources required to operate each flight including optimal schedule of these resources. The main objective is to maximize utilization of the resources while maintaining regulations and other required work rules (Barnhart et al. 2003a; Abdelghany and Abdelghany 2012; Belobaba et al. 2015; Bazargan 2016; Teodorovic 2017). In this chapter, we define the different subtasks involved in airline schedule planning. Then, the interdependence among these decisions is discussed.

3.1 Definitions

3.1.1 Demand Forecasting and Competition Analysis

Airlines spend considerable effort to estimate current and future number of passengers in the different city‐pairs, which they currently serve or aim to serve in the future. They also try to estimate their market share in each of these markets, given existing or potential competition (Proussaloglou and Koppelman 1995; Witt and Witt 1995; Coldren ...

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