Network planning involves a lot of analyses that include...
- studying consumer travel behavior to understand when and where passengers want to fly
- competitive analysis to determine what other carriers are offering and if your carrier is competitive
- forecasting new routes and destinations based on cost, potential revenue, and demand
- optimizing existing routes by adjusting flight times, frequencies, equipment
- working with airports to improve under-performing routes or start new ones
- adding and removing capacity for holidays and special events
- finding new opportunities for additional flying during down times (red-eyes or Saturday flying)
- categorizing markets as "business" or "leisure" (and sometimes both) to best serve customers
- reducing capacity during lower traffic days (usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays)
Your education seems like a good fit for network planning. Definitely look at the large U.S. airlines as they often have opportunities in route planning (DL, UA
, US, AA
). Good luck!