Transforming Operational Decision Making

Operational decision making can be transformed using a ground-breaking operational cost model, giving airlines potential for substantive performance and operational cost management.

The primary goal of a flight operations center is to operate an airline’s flight network efficiently and safely. This task involves many decisions that have to be made every day, which affect long-term planning goals, in addition to short-term planning and execution.

Results can be measured in terms of cost (either absolute or relative). Traditionally, cost factors contributing to the overall flight-network costs have been considered as separate factors. However, to ensure a consistent cost picture, they should all be viewed holistically.

In a completely static environment with a disconnected view on flight-operations efficiency targets, efficient flight operations have been achieved at least partially by applying strict on-time performance, assuming that the different kinds of disruption costs are statistically the main cost drivers. And this is fundamentally true.

However, airlines don’t have the luxury of dealing with a static environment. Operations planners, therefore, need to embrace holistic data and move closer to making the right decisions based on individual scenarios.

Without a holistic view on cost data, and without the support of sophisticated systems, highly capable and responsible people in operations control are mainly relegated to basing their decisions on gut feelings and simple indicators marking certain flights as “critical.”

Read the full story in Ascend.