machnumber
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:59 pm

TK Flight Crew Planning Question

Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:50 pm

I've been wondering about this for a while. If you look at the equipment Turkish Airlines uses on some long haul flights you can see that they are both using Airbus and Boeing aircraft on the same flight.
As an example: on TK11 IST-JFK they are using anything from A330/340 to B777. It is not uncommon to see 5 days of Airbus service followed by a day of 777 and then Airbus again etc. It seems like they use whatever they have. There is no pattern and it is very random.
You can see the same approach on different flights like occasional B777's in ORD.
The same is true for Far eastern flights.

I'm wondering how they arrange the flight crews for such flights.

I couldn't think of many other examples for major airlines (except maybe airlines in the US) that use the same system, that's why I thought it was interesting.
 
don
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2003 4:44 pm

RE: TK Flight Crew Planning Question

Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:03 pm

If Monday to Friday : A330/340, Saturday : B777, Sunday: Back to A330/340, It will probably look like this:

Airbus Crew Pattern 1 (Assume one night layover and go back next day)
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun : IST-JFK
Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Mon : JFK-IST

B777 Crew Pattern 1
Fri : Deadhead as Passenger IST-JFK
Sat: Operate JFK-IST

B777 Crew Pattern 2
Sat: Operate IST-JFK
Sun: Deadhead as Passenger JFK- IST

Airbus Crew Pattern 2
Fri: IST-JFK
Sat : Day off in JFK
Sun: JFK-IST

Then again, this is what makes sense, but many crew operating patterns rarely make sense.
 
machnumber
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:59 pm

RE: TK Flight Crew Planning Question

Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:20 pm

So you mean if let's say the if a 777 arrived today and the next scheduled is in 6 days (or sometimes 10 days) the crew waits for the next 777 flight?
 
Fabo
Posts: 1141
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:30 am

RE: TK Flight Crew Planning Question

Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:31 pm

Either that can do that, or they can go gome on an Airbus flight, or they could be dlowen to, say, Chicago and operate next flight from there. I think any of that is possible. My best guess is, what is the cheapest option, will be used, and I guess that would be the fly them home on own flight option most times.
The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
 
machnumber
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:59 pm

RE: TK Flight Crew Planning Question

Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:57 pm

I still think it's rather strange that they use random equipment. I can see a fluctuation between A330 and A340 but occasional 777 must cause a lot of trouble in terms of crew planning? Wouldn't it be just cheaper to stick to one equipment?
 
Fabo
Posts: 1141
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:30 am

RE: TK Flight Crew Planning Question

Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:03 am

Well, in todays world of automation, it might as well be just a matter of clicks to distribute schedules. And having more options to choose from might even help to utilise flight time limits better...

My best guess is, that there is a "pool" of aircraft available for every route, and then some software picks types or even specific aircraft in order to maximise profits, considering existing and/or expected sales for that particular flight.

Then this data is fed into the crew planning software, which would know what is who typed on (while between pilots it might be relatively straightforward, with CC it can be a whole lot worse with crosstraining, I suppose), knows duty limits, etc. and it would then spit out optimal crew rotations.

I do believe that this is relatively easily possible to program. (given time and funds of course, e.g. I can not spit such a program out in a week, but I can not see any big technical limitation why not)
The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT

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