Robust Airline Scheduling: Improving Schedule Robustness with Flight Re-timing and Aircraft Swapping
by Sophie Dickson
Abstract: All plans go astray on the day; airline schedules are no exception. Flight delays often have knock-on effects that frustrate passengers and cost airlines money. Most schedules have slack time that helps reduce knock-on delays. We present new models that re-time flights and swap flights between aircraft in a schedule, redistributing the slack time to minimise knock-on effects. We discuss the models' properties, how parameters are set from real airline data, and results from numerical experiments.
Our models differ from previous work in the area in three key aspects. The first is that it combines both flight retiming and aircraft rerouting in the one model. The second is that it does not assume that primary flight delays are independent of the existing propagated delay on the flight, i.e. it incorporates the fact that an already delayed flight is likely to have an increased likelihood of further delays due to the difficulties associated with operating under â€˜off-scheduleâ€™ scenarios. The third distinction involves the use of the whole delay probability distribution, rather than just an average or total delay measure.
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