FJWH
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How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:04 am

Hi!

I was wondering. KLM has about 2300 pilots I heard. We certainly do not have 2300 planes. I really don't know how many planes KLM got but let's say: 100.

Planes/airlines (well most airlines  Wink) are making profits when the planes are up in the air. I heard numbers that planes like 747's are up in the air at least 16 from the 24 hours in a day. For the 100 planes KLM got, we have 2300 pilots, so 23 a plane.
And that I don't know...
Can you say that airlines have approximately 30 pilots per 747 and 25 for a 737 (EXAMPLES) I really don't know and I am very curious.
So how many pilots are needed the keep a plane in the air as much as time as possible? (I assume that we can find the difference in the # of pilots in the difference between planes?)

Hope you understand what I mean  Smile

FJWH
FlightS in the next 3 months: MSP, PHX, MEM, NCE, TFS, BCN. All round trips from AMS
 
BBJII
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:09 am

Look at it this way.

737/320 size ...... AM crew+PM crew+Crew on Rest:so average 6 pilots per aircraft

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LGAtoIND
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:37 am

I think it is usually 12 pilots (6 Crews) per plane.
 
levent
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:21 pm

Probably also depends on the size of the airline and its financial position, but most smaller (regional) airlines aim at three to four crews per plane (= six to eight pilots).
 
FutureFO
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:45 pm

The average for most airlines is 5 crews per airplane. At least that is generally how it is in the US.


Sean
I Don't know where I am anymore
 
legacy135
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:32 pm

You can' say it like this. It is very much dependable from the actual operation, how the respective fleet is used. The long range fleets in KLM will automatically need more crews per aircraft than the short range fleets. Long range generates much longer durations away from base, they may need enlarged crews on certain flights or even double ones and due to the longer flights, of times after the flights are longer as well.

Short range you basically need a "morning crew" and an "afternoon crew" and the plane starts to run. Those two crews will run the aircraft for 5 to 8 days, then they need their off days. You will need additional staff to cover holidays leaves, training etc. Finally it will come to a minimum of around 5 crews on a short haul aircraft.

The long hauler is much more complex to plan and you will easily need the double amount of crews per aircraft, maybe even more depending from the operation.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink
 
Carpethead
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:54 pm

You just can't aimlessly put aircraft into the air and expect profits. The airline management has to properly do market research in order to fly the right aircraft, at the right times, at the right frequencies, and to the right destinations.

Both JL & NH have lower aircraft utilization rates compared to US & European legacy carriers but are they that much more handicapped. No.

Could JL & NH operate additional early morning and late evening flights with 744D/777s and expect to make profits just to keep them flying. No. Because most travellers wouldn't want to travel during those times.
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:03 pm

LCCs may have 3 or 4 crews per aircraft,it's enough i think as long as flights are relatively short and that they generally make more than one rotation !!! When i was working on a business plan for a Tunisian LCC,i estimated the number of crews to be 6 for two aircrafts with double rotations like TUN-CMN-TUN-CIA-TUN and lay overs in SHJ and DME.
 
letsgetwet
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:21 pm

How about reserve crews? You need at least 1 crew per air craft on reserve to keep the flight going in case of someone calling out.
 
legacy135
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:31 pm

I can give you the base of calculation we use:

One employee will have:

28 days vacation per year
9 off days a month, resulting in 108 off days a year
go to training twice a year totaling in 2 x 8 days equal 16 days off
go to special training as Dangerous goods, EPR etc for 4 days
and finally have 8 days off which are in Switzerland the "legal off days" as Christmas, New Year etc.

This results in a total per crewmember of 164 days per year off from flight duty or in other words : 201 days on flight duty per crewmember.

Now it is a simple calculation, as we need at least two crews per aircraft it will be 2 x 365 : 201 = 3,63 Crews per plane

This 3,63 is a mathematic minimum and I can assure you, this airline will sit on the ground relatively fast. I never would go below 4,5 better 5 crew. The bigger the fleet, the more we can lower this figure.

The reason is, we need to cover slot delays, technical delays, sickness etc. which will always affect the actual flight duty and finally result in the need for another crew.

So I would say on short range 5 crews for one aircraft, if you are up to 3 aircraft you might go back to 4,5. This is for sure very much variable also of the kind of OPS. A charter airline which has it's business seasonwise can plan the vacation and training of the crews different from what a scheduled needs to.

The other story is the long range OPS. This is very much demanding crews and as mentioned in my previous post, we can easily see a figure of 10. Long range planning is very complex. Additionally to the usual FDR's (Flight Duty Regulations) we need to consider penalties for change in time zones, east - west rotations, night flights, longer off periods etc. Here we can't take any formula just as I showed it on the short haul. It is very much dependable from the network and if the crews fly nothing then long range (MD11, B747, B777, A346) or if it's a kind of mixed duty on short and long as on some A330 or 757/767 operations. If you can mix it with short range, again the factor will come down which is for sure in the operators favor.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:36 pm

Quoting FJWH (Thread starter):
So how many pilots are needed the keep a plane in the air as much as time as possible

FDTL [Flight duty time limitations] would play a big part in stocking the numbers depending on the Sectors operated.
There would be Pilots on Leave,some on their Weekly offs,Some in for Medicals,Some grounded due Incidents,Some in training,some on Simulators.

I guess Flt ops Manager will have all the details.
regds
MEL
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flykal
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RE: How Many Pilots For One Plane?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:23 pm

As for KE:

116 aircraft

1956 pilots including new student pilots undertaking ab-initio training (around 100).

So, that averages about to about 16 crew per aircraft. Average monthly duty time will typically range anywhere from 40 to 90 hours per crew depending on aircraft type and season.
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