Airline Network Planning and Scheduling

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thumbnail image: Airline Network Planning and Scheduling

A concise resource to the best practices and problem-solving ideas for understanding the airline network planning and scheduling process

Airline Network Planning and Scheduling offers a comprehensive resource that is filled with the industry's best practices that can help to inform decision-modeling and the problem-solving process. Written by two industry experts, the book is designed to be an accessible guide that contains information for addressing complex challenges, problems, and approaches that arise on the job. The chapters begin by addressing the complex topics at a broad, conceptual level before moving on to more detailed modeling in later chapters. This approach follows the standard airline planning process and reflects the duties of the day-to-day job of network/schedule planners.

To help gain a practical understanding of the information presented, each chapter includes exercises and data based on real-world case studies. In addition, throughout the book there are graphs and illustrations as well as, information on the most recent advances in airline network and planning research. This important resource:

•    Takes a practical approach when detailing airline network planning and scheduling practices as opposed to a theoretical perspective

•    Puts the focus on the complexity and main challenges as well as current practices and approaches to problem-solving and decision-making

•    Presents the information in a logical sequence that begins with broad, conceptual topics and gradually delves into more advanced topics that address modeling

•    Contains international standard airline planning processes, the day-to-day responsibilities of the job, and outlines the steps taken when building an airline network and schedule

•    Includes numerous case studies, exercises, graphs, and illustrations throughout

Written for professionals and academics, Airline Network Planning and Scheduling offers a resource for understanding best practices and models as well as the challenges involved with network planning and scheduling.

Ahmed Abdelghany, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Management, Marketing, and Operations at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His past experience includes being a senior analyst in the Information Services Division (ISD) at United Airlines.

Khaled Abdelghany, PhD, is Professor and former Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Southern Methodist University. He has worked as an analyst in the ISD at United Airlines.

 

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xxv

Preface xxvii

Section 1 1

1 Brands of Airlines 3

1.1 Schedule Availability 3

1.1.1 Charter Airlines 3

1.1.2 Scheduled Airlines 4

1.2 Size and Domain of Service 4

1.2.1 Major Airlines 4

1.2.2 National Airlines 4

1.2.3 Regional Airlines 5

1.3 Business Model 5

1.3.1 Legacy Airlines (or Mainline) 5

1.3.2 Low‐cost Airlines 6

1.3.3 Ultralow‐cost Airlines 6

1.4 Ownership 7

1.4.1 Public or State Ownership 7

1.4.2 Private Ownership 7

1.5 Network Structure 8

1.5.1 Hub and Spoke 8

1.5.2 Point‐to‐Point 8

1.5.3 Hybrid 8

1.6 Transport Service Type 8

1.6.1 Cargo Airlines 8

1.6.2 Passenger and Cargo Airlines 9

1.7 Network Coverage 9

1.7.1 Domestic 9

1.7.2 International 9

2 Airline Network Structure 11

2.1 Introduction 11

2.2 Time Bank 14

2.3 Advantages of the Hub‐and‐spoke Network 23

2.3.1 Better Network Coverage 23

2.3.2 Mixed Portfolio of Passenger Demand 24

2.3.3 Dominance at the Hub 26

2.3.4 Economy of Scale Operations at the Hub 27

2.4 Limitations of the Hub‐and‐spoke Network 27

2.4.1 Congestion at the Hub 27

2.4.2 Schedule Vulnerability to Disruption at the Hub 28

2.4.3 Extended Ground Time for Resources 28

3 Airline Schedule Planning Decisions 31

3.1 Definitions 31

3.1.1 Demand Forecasting and Competition Analysis 31

3.1.2 Served Markets 32

3.1.3 Flight Frequency 32

3.1.4 Flight Departure/Arrival Time 32

3.1.5 Fleet Assignment 33

3.1.6 Aircraft Schedule 34

3.1.7 Crew Schedule 35

3.1.8 Gate Assignment 35

3.1.9 Other Resources 36

3.2 Relationships Among Scheduling Decisions 36

3.2.1 Flight Frequency and Fleet Assignment 37

3.2.2 Departure Time and City‐pairs 38

3.2.3 Departure Time and Demand 38

3.2.4 Fleet Assignment and Flight Arrival Time 39

3.2.5 Fleet Assignment and Flight Departure Time 40

3.2.6 Flight Departure Time, Arrival Time, and Block Time 40

3.2.7 Flight Departure Time and Aircraft Rotation 42

3.2.8 Flight Schedule and Fleet Assignment Balance 42

3.2.9 Maintenance Rotations and Fleet Assignment 42

3.2.10 Seat Capacity/Frequency and Demand 44

3.2.11 Feet Assignment and Flight Demand 46

3.2.12 Frequency and Departure Time 46

3.2.13 Departure/Arrival Time and Gate Availability 48

3.2.14 Departure Time and Crew Schedule 49

4 Measures of Performance 51

4.1 Operating Cost 51

4.2 Revenue or Income 52

4.3 Net Income (Net Profit) and Operating Profit 53

4.4 Flights 53

4.5 Available Seat Miles 55

4.6 Cost per Available Seat Miles (CASM) 56

4.7 CASM‐ EX or CASM‐EX Fuel 57

4.8 Passengers 58

4.9 Revenue Passenger Miles (RPM) 60

4.10 Total Revenue per Available Seat Mile (TRASM or Simply RASM) 61

4.11 Passenger Revenue per Available Seat Mile (PRASM) 61

4.12 Passenger Yield 62

4.13 Average Load Factor (LF) 62

4.14 Block Hours 66

4.15 Aircraft Utilization 66

4.16 Stage Length 66

4.17 On‐time Performance Measures 67

4.18 Aircraft Life Cycle 67

4.19 Aircraft Number and Diversification 68

5 Freedoms of Air Service 75

6 Slot Availability 81

6.1 Level 1 Airports 82

6.2 Level 2 Airports 82

6.3 Level 3 Airports 84

Section 2 91

7 Feasibility of a New Route 93

7.1 Business Plan 94

7.1.1 Proposed Property 94

7.1.2 Identifying Demand Feeders 94

7.1.3 Identifying the Size of the Demand Feeders 95

7.1.4 Analyzing Competition 96

7.1.5 Estimating Market Share 96

7.1.6 Estimating Total Demand and Unconstrained Market Share 101

7.2 Application of Feasibility Study on a New Airline Route 102

7.2.1 The Proposed Route 103

7.2.2 Identifying Demand Feeders 103

7.2.3 Identifying the Size of the Demand Feeding Markets 104

7.2.4 Analyzing Competition 105

7.2.5 Estimating Market Share 106

7.2.6 Estimating Total Flight Demand (Unconstrained Demand) 110

8 Market Share Models 113

8.1 What Is a Model? 113

8.2 Model and Historical Data 114

8.3 Model Development Example 115

8.4 Categorical Dependent Variable 119

8.5 Introduction to Discrete Choice Models 120

8.6 Itinerary Choice Models 123

8.7 Applying Itinerary Choice Models: An Example 131

9 Profitability Forecasting Models 139

9.1 Introduction 139

9.2 Model Input 140

9.3 Itinerary Builder Module 143

9.4 How the Model Works? 143

9.5 Load Factor, Market Share, and Market Concentration 144

10 Partnership Agreements 149

10.1 Introduction 149

10.2 Regional Airlines 150

10.3 Code‐share Agreements 151

10.4 Airline Alliances 154

10.5 Distribution Channels and Point of Sale 154

10.6 Loyalty Programs 156

10.7 Corporate Travel 156

Section 3 159

11 Basic Fleet Assignment Model (FAM) 161

11.1 Introduction 161

11.2 Graphical Representation: Time‐staggered Diagram 164

11.3 Problem Input 167

11.4 Problem Definition and Formulation 170

11.5 The Constraints of the Basic Fleet Assignment Problem 172

11.5.1 The Coverage Constraints 172

11.5.2 Resources Constraints 173

11.5.3 The Through‐flights Constraints 173

11.5.4 The Balance Constraints 174

12 A Walkthrough Example of the Basic Fleet Assignment Model 175

12.1 Problem Definition 175

12.2 The Objective Function 178

12.3 The Constraints 178

12.4 Interconnection Nodes 183

13 Application of the Basic Fleet Assignment Model 193

13.1 Introduction 193

13.2 Problem Input 193

13.3 Setting the Problem in Excel Solver 203

13.4 Solution Interpretation 208

13.5 Resources Constraints 210

13.6 Additional Constraints 213

Section 4 215

14 The Schedule Adjustment Problem 217

14.1 Introduction 217

14.2 Schedule Adjustment Decisions 218

14.3 Problem Formulation 219

15 Examples on the Schedule Adjustment Problem 221

15.1 Flight Deletion 221

15.2 Flight Addition 228

15.3 Flight Departure Time 235

Section 5 243

16 Itinerarybased Fleet Assignment Model (IFAM) 245

16.1 Introduction 245

16.2 Spill Cost Estimates and Network Effect 246

16.3 Demand Recapture 248

16.4 The Flight–Itinerary Interaction 251

16.5 The Itinerary‐based Fleet Assignment Problem 254

17 Example on IFAM 255

17.1 Problem Definition 255

17.2 The Constraints of the IFAM Example 258

17.3 The Objective Function 259

17.4 Problem Solution 270

18 Comparing FAM and IFAM 279

18.1 Problem Definition 279

18.2 Problem Solution 285

Section 6 289

19 Integrated Schedule Design with the Itinerarybased Fleet Assignment Model (ISDIFAM) 291

19.1 Introduction 291

19.2 Example of Demand and Supply Interactions 292

19.3 Aspects of Demand–Supply Interactions: Demand Correction Factors 293

19.4 The Schedule Design and Adjustment Problem 298

19.4.1 The Objective Function of ISD‐IFAM 298

19.4.2 The Constraints of the ISD‐IFAM 298

20 Example on ISDIFAM 301

20.1 Problem Definition 301

20.2 The Constraints of the Problem 304

20.3 The Objective Function 305

20.4 Problem Solving 324

20.5 Solution Interpretation 327

20.6 Changing the Operations Cost 331

Section 7 345

21 Schedule Robustness 347

21.1 Introduction 347

21.2 Less‐prone‐to‐disruptions Schedules: The Concept of Adding Slack Times 348

21.2.1 Slack in Flight Block Time 348

21.2.2 Slack Time of a Connecting Resource 349

21.2.3 Slack Time of an Inbound Flight 351

21.3 Recoverable Flight Schedules 353

21.3.1 Background 353

21.3.2 Station Purity 355

21.3.3 Short Cancellation Cycles 356

21.3.4 Maximizing Swapping Possibility 357

21.3.5 Allocating Standby and Reserve Crew 358

References 359

Index 369

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