Airline disruption management

Arıkan, Uğur
In this thesis, we deal with recovering airline operations in cases of irregularities. In schedule design phase, airlines generally generate tight schedules in order to efficiently utilize resources and deal with the high competition in the industry. However, irregularities in operations, also called disruptions, occur due to various reasons such as unscheduled aircraft maintenance, late appearance of crew members, bad weather conditions, congestions in airports, etc., and prevent the airline operate its original schedules. Airline Operations Control Centers (AOCC) are responsible for recovering the schedules of entities such as aircraft, crew members and passengers. These controllers are generally equipped with a set of recovery actions such as departure holding, flight cancellation and aircraft swapping. Due to the large size of airline networks, interdependencies between different entity types and real time solution requirement, integrated airline recovery problem is challenging. A common practice in the literature and industry is sequential approach which firstly recovers aircraft schedules and schedule recovery of the remaining entities are carried out accordingly. However, sequential approach results in high disruption and recovery costs. On the other hand, literature lacks from practical methodologies for the integrated airline recovery problem. We focus on the integrated problem in this thesis and propose a new network representation, exact approaches and heuristic approaches. Due to the increasing competition in industry, passenger convenience is attaining more and more importance. We also place a special emphasis on passenger recovery. Finally, we manage to integrate cruise speed control option in addition to the common recovery actions and our experiments have shown that speeding up flights is a very beneficial action to mitigate delays, create new swap opportunities and maintain passenger and crew connections.


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Citation Formats
U. Arıkan, “Airline disruption management,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2014.