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How are aircraft scheduled for major airlines?

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:19 am
by thewizbizman
Wondering how major airlines create aircraft schedules. Say route planning wants it on routes x, y, and z, techops wants to do an engine swap within the month, another maint. group wants to install wifi that week, etc. How is all this prepared ensuring the aircraft isnt needed in multiple places at once. Also how far in advance are these schedules created?

Re: How are aircraft scheduled for major airlines?

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:27 am
by Starlionblue
Simplistic answer, but there's software. :D

You can normally book a flight a year in advance, so the schedule itself goes out that far in many cases. Specific tail assignment is not done that far out though.

Re: How are aircraft scheduled for major airlines?

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:22 am
by fr8mech
Heavy maintenance schedules are planned years in advance. Planned engine changes are weeks in advance. Modifications are also planned well in advance.

Maintenance planning works closely with routing to ensure an aircraft is where it needs to be to get the scheduled maintenance done. Whether it’s routine line work, heavy maintenance and everything in between. Maintenance drives the routing.

Re: How are aircraft scheduled for major airlines?

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:10 pm
by Dalmd88
Aircraft routing is usually set three days out. In reality it is fluid up until the flight happens. Like other have said the big events are planned out months or weeks ahead, while daily events like a certain tail number needs a Service Check or has an MEL that needs to be addressed get planned out in he under 5 day window. The known stuff in the three day plan and the MEL type stuff as it arises.

The current MEL load can also dictate which routes a given tail number can fly on that day. An anti-icing valve on MEL will prevent a plane from a route that has active known icing conditions. On top of that the plane needs to route through a Mtc station with enough ground time to work the problem and have the possible parts on hand. These type of scheduling changes are the real drivers of last minute routing changes.It can sometimes require a couple of swaps to get a given tail number on a preferred line.

Re: How are aircraft scheduled for major airlines?

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 8:00 pm
by thewizbizman
Awesome, thanks guys for the insight and replies!