BRINGING AIRLINE PLANNING AND OPERATIONS CLOSER TOGETHER
In the modern, ultra-competitive world of commercial air transportation, planning tools are critical, as they integrate combinations of factors to produce optimum paths, or a selection of optimum choices depending on airline objectives.
As conventionally understood and applied by carriers globally, airline planning is a fundamental set of procedures comprising flight scheduling, fares management, revenue management and distribution (collectively, sometimes referred to as the marketing/planning process).
That first element, flight scheduling, actually involves a longer-term set of procedures. Flight scheduling, therefore, is quite properly and appropriately considered strategic, on the basis that macro-demand forecasts are created five years out to formulate future schedules.
Meanwhile, revenue management (the third element of airline planning as listed above) is based on current schedules. Fare management and revenue management are both considered “tactical” processes that look ahead 12 months.
These are essentially disparate issues (in that flight scheduling is longer-term, whereas fares management and revenue management derive their figures from more current or even real-time factors).
How can these critical issues be reconciled, and even more pointedly optimized, under the common overall umbrella of flight planning to any reasonable degree of efficiency?
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