Rationalizing Aircraft Performance Dynamic Modeling in Airline Fleet Planning Decisions

Triant FLOURIS

Abstract


This study develops a dynamic model and identifies factors that can be used to evaluate aircraft performance. Aircraft performance modeling is a cornerstone ingredient in airline fleet planning decisions. Fleet planning is a core aspect of airline operational efficiency. The wrong aircraft in the wrong mission can cost an airline both operationally as well as financially.  The study focuses on the evaluation of modern commercial jet aircraft larger than 50 seats used by airlines. Development of an acceptable model would assist airlines in decision making when procuring aircraft for the airline specific requirements. Fleet flexibility is also an important criterion today and the tool would also assist in matching the right aircraft to the optimum flight schedules.  Currently, different aircraft types are compared by their static parameters, such as payload range, wingspan, gross weight, engine s.l.s.t. (sea-level static thrust), aircraft manufacturer, and even manufacturer of engine. However, these are inadequate measurements of aircraft performance as they consider static parameters alone. Two airplanes that look exactly the same may have different power engine thrusts and certified gross weights. Either of these two parameters cause to perform differently. Mismatching aircraft types to their intended missions will occur if, during the procurement study phase, the airline does not consider future and potential variations in its route structure. A list of aircraft “static” features hence is insufficient as an evaluation tool. We propose a definite distinction between static and dynamic parameters and as such we believe we contribute to the academic literature through the consideration and analysis of these different parameters. While static parameters as mentioned before are well known and used, dynamic parameters are less common, and perhaps less understood by higher-level management. Because dynamic parameters by definition have variable values, cause and effect between these parameters become an interesting phenomenon to be also investigated.  In the paper, after reviewing the definition of “aircraft performance” and its impact on airline operations, we provide a multidimensional performance model for assessment of aircraft.

 

Keywords: Aircraft design and airline fleet planning; Airline strategy, Management and operations; Airline and airport performance.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/erm.v2i1.317

Enterprise Risk Management  ISSN 1937-7916

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