The schedule development task falls broadly under the marketing discipline but

The schedule development task falls broadly under the

This preview shows page 113 - 116 out of 269 pages.

The schedule development task falls broadly under the marketing discipline, but many airlines have a specialized schedule planning or airline planning department. Except for new entrant airlines, each new flight schedule is a revision of the previous schedule. Route structure architecture is a long-term commitment, but service in some markets will evolve. A hub-and-spoke carrier, for example, may add point-to-point service in some city-pairs as traffic grows or in response to competitive pressure. A change from tightly-timed connecting complexes to a rolling-hub is a more extensive and complex schedule revision. Passengers, however, appreciate schedule stability, so airlines operate many flights at the same times and with the same flight number for years. Because
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Flight Schedule Development and Control 112 most airlines accept reservations up to one year before flight, work on flight schedule revision extends from more than a year out to a few months prior to flight. Booked passengers must be notified of schedule changes implemented after reservations have been made. Printed hardcopies of the flight schedule or timetables were once the primary means of providing flight information to potential passengers, but the Internet has rendered the printed timetable obsolete. But electronic timetables, though voluminous and cumbersome to use, are available on most airline websites. Table 5.1 is an excerpt from an online timetable showing flights from Boston, Massachusetts and Cancun, Mexico to various destinations. Table shows the origin and destination, times and flight number, weekly frequency and number of en route stops. Though this example is an exception, timetables will usually show the aircraft type assigned to each flight. The timetable is the final product of the flight schedule development process (Table 5.1). Table 5.1 Timetable Source: Spirit Airlines Objectives Development of the flight schedule is an extremely complex task, not only because of the vast number of variables and possibilities to be considered, but also because of the required trade-offs among revenues, costs, reliability, and constraints. Figure 5.2 depicts 4 often conflicting objectives the scheduler planner attempts to balance. Each objective is considered next.
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Flight Schedule Development and Control 113 Figure 5.2 Flight Schedule Objectives Revenue. The flight schedule seeks to maximize network revenues by matching flights and capacity with passenger demand. Passengers rate flight schedule convenience as the second most important criteria in choosing an airline, but for the high yield business segment, it’s often the primary consideration. An airline targeting the business passenger must offer flights when he or she wishes to travel with sufficient capacity to meet peak demand. Business passengers also favor frequent service in the event that travel plans change. In business markets, frequent morning and late afternoon/evening flights are essential to meeting passenger desires, but some off peak service is also needed. For markets with aggressive competition, high flight frequency is a competitive weapon.
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  • Fall '16
  • Kelly Lawton
  • United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Pan American World Airways, Cab, Douglas DC-3

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