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Airline scheduling

I spend more time in airports and airplanes than I would ideally like. Multi-hour layovers are good opportunities to catch up on email, read, write, and ponder how this complex structure of global air travel operates. Think of the enormous difficulty in scheduling flights, maintaining airplanes, customer interactions, and so on. What’s the nature of training and development in this industry? Obviously formal education (such as for mechanics and pilots) and continual ongoing training due to new procedures, regulations, and economic circumstances. I’d love to get a better handle on how the airline industry meets its multiple challenges through it training and development departments (and how it strategically ties the use of technology to organizational goals). WSJ looks at the complexities of scheduling for Southwest. How did it innovate its scheduling practices to reduce costs/improve efficiency? Did consultants provide the solution? Nah. Innovation occurred on a home computer by an employee – saving the airline millions of dollars. How do organizations foster and recognize that type of innovation and creativity?

One Comment

  1. N. Papadakos wrote:

    Interesting questions indeed!

    The latest airline scheduling innovation is provided by Decisal Ltd (

    Its new product SchedulAir ( is the only one providing unified optimization of:

    - fleet assignment
    - aircraft maintenance routing (rotations)
    - crew scheduling (pairings)

    Follow the links if you want to read about the technology behind SchedulAir. There are two related papers published.

    For that product research was carried at Imperial College London.

    Friday, October 24, 2008 at 9:56 am | Permalink