THE FLEET PLANNING
The objective of an operational analysis is to optimize fleet composition, flight itineraries and frequencies by developing one or more operational plans. To achieve this objective an analyst must accurately simulate an airline's operation, taking into consideration all operational requirements. The fundamental methodology employed by the Analyst is the allocation of passengers. Origin-destination passengers are allocated to flights on the basis of some "preference factors" related to the aircraft, to passengers and to the traffic. Flights can be added, deleted or re-routed and the impact on each flight and on the total system may be evaluated.
The Airline Fleet Planning Program (AFPP) is used to simulate an airline's operational Plan in terms of flight routing, required frequencies, and airplane type assignments. The model is a computer program which determines loads and load factors on an Airline route network given certain basic information about the network, the cities it serves, city pair passenger demand and several parameters for the particular airline. Other useful information, such as RPM ASM and the over-all load factor per airplane type, are also calculated by the model.
The procedure for using AFPP is to start with a current Airline schedule, examine the itineraries for their characteristics of routing and servicing and then allocate future 0&0 (origin and destination) traffic to those itineraries. The analyst, looking at the load imbalances imposed by future traffic demands on today’s segments, devotes his attention to rectifying extreme high or low load situations. He can add flights or change equipment types that are used on the routes, or frequencies, in order to improve the situation of the airline involved Given the passenger origin-destination demand data for each city-pair market and a set of flights operating over the airline's network, AFPP evaluates the on-board loads and load factors on each flight segment. It allocates the passengers in each market by means of the "preference factors" criteria input to the model. The ideal route system is designed by the Analyst in direct "conversation" with the computer taking into account all operational constraints and maximizing fleet efficiency.
The methodology of this fleet planning program is similar to that of airline planners and schedulers who are faced with the problem of altering current schedules to satisfy expected demand. This program is a very efficient tool for the analyst and, for large route systems, can reduce weeks of hand calculations since computer operation may be completed in a matter of seconds.
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