Make efficient use of your fleet in unpredictable markets
Air cargo and passenger demand have never been so unpredictable. Passenger demand has virtually disappeared on many routes and is expected to only return gradually over the next years. Air cargo demand has risen dramatically on some routes due to medical supply shipments but is expected to level off. At the same time, the supply of cargo space has substantially decreased across the globe and the traditional hub-and-spoke network based on passenger demand may not be sufficient to cope with current cargo demand. There is an opportunity to improve asset utilization by changing the fleet configuration to (1) carry cargo only, (2) cargo in cabin or (3) a mix of passengers and cargo. However, all these developments require a new approach to fleet and network planning.
With our DELMIA Quintiq-based fleet and network planning solution, we help airlines operate a more flexible network, by allowing a flight schedule and fleet configurations to deal with the rapidly changing circumstances. The Ab Ovo fleet and network planning solution allows airlines to leverage their aircraft cargo assets in the optimal way, e.g. by finding the best flight schedule short-term and the best aircraft configuration to transport as much cargo and passengers as possible to maximize profit. Instead of responding to future events only, our solution enables airlines to predict the consequences of future changes in demand, by running simulated scenarios and assessing the impact on flight schedule and fleet usage.
Fleet and network management in the past and in the future
Before the global pandemic, airlines operated stable aircraft configurations and a stable flight schedule, where demand fluctuations were mostly gradual, seasonal and predictable. Nowadays, airlines must be able to quickly adjust aircraft configurations to changing demand to keep a competitive edge. Various options for this can be managed with our solution:
- Remove seats in cabin for long term decrease in passenger demand
- Carry cargo in the seats for short term for ad-hoc changes, or imbalance of passenger demand between origin and destination
- Continue flying with passenger aircraft where demand is still present
Flight schedules more flexible
Flight schedules also need to be more flexible to cope with future demand fluctuations. As the pandemic moves across the globe, regional situations may rapidly change with unpredictable border openings, quarantine requirements and changing demand for medical supplies. These fluctuations can only be dealt with in case airlines operate a flexible schedule and specific aircraft are assigned flexibly. The good news for airlines is that decreased demand at airports and loosened slot times have removed some of the traditional planning restrictions.
Ab Ovo addresses these questions with its DELMIA Quintiq-based solution and supports the airlines by providing scenario planning and decision support in these unpredictable times. The planners can be confident all aircraft, airport, country and customer regulations and restrictions are met.