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Aircraft Hours Pooling / Fleet Management

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#1
sq_a380

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I have a suggestion for future versions of AE regarding the way aircraft are scheduled on routes.

Currently, every aircraft is given 22 hours a day to operate. Every aircraft must be placed individually on routes based on the number of hours it has left to fly.

My suggestion is to consolidate the hours on every aircraft type, so flights can be scheduled based on the aircraft type and not each individual aircraft.

For example, having 4x A320-200s will give me 88 hours a day to scheduled A320 flights. This allows me 88hrs of flying time for my A320 fleet. Buying more A320s will increase the flying time per day for my A320 fleet by 22 hours each.

This presents a more realistic approach to scheduling, as airlines schedule flights by the aircraft fleet, and not based on every single aircraft. It can also simplify aircraft utilisation and route placement for aircraft fleets.

This seems to be a rather drastic change in the way the game operates, but I feel that it will not only make the game more simple, but much more realistic.

Edited by Yuxi, 27 January 2012 - 03:37 AM.
Changed title, pinned


#2
Yuxi

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I have a suggestion for future versions of AE regarding the way aircraft are scheduled on routes.

Currently, every aircraft is given 22 hours a day to operate. Every aircraft must be placed individually on routes based on the number of hours it has left to fly.

My suggestion is to consolidate the hours on every aircraft type, so flights can be scheduled based on the aircraft type and not each individual aircraft.

For example, having 4x A320-200s will give me 88 hours a day to scheduled A320 flights. This allows me 88hrs of flying time for my A320 fleet. Buying more A320s will increase the flying time per day for my A320 fleet by 22 hours each.

This presents a more realistic approach to scheduling, as airlines schedule flights by the aircraft fleet, and not based on every single aircraft. It can also simplify aircraft utilisation and route placement for aircraft fleets.

This seems to be a rather drastic change in the way the game operates, but I feel that it will not only make the game more simple, but much more realistic.


It would have to take locations (aircraft bases anyone?) into account as well, but I agree with going in this direction.

#3
sq_a380

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Yes indeed. Instead of sorting aircraft just by type, we could seperate those based at different locations and those with different configurations as well, so for example I can schedule my 3-class 772s differently from the 2-class 772s.

#4
Delta787

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It would have to take locations (aircraft bases anyone?) into account as well, but I agree with going in this direction.


I like this idea also. But if you could implement the use of aircraft bases, like the airlines actually have, then it could give a little more flexibility in the scheduling department. I like it.

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#5
Pineair

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Remember aircraft can be scheduled for flights between airports they are not based at. Would you be able to allocate the number of hours use per day or would this automatically be the maximum number of hours, Could be a nightmare for the larger operators and 10+ bases.

#6
craigdwatson

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Yuxi, glad you support a aircraft basing feature, I've commented about that a few times in different posts....

Having to base an aircraft at a focus city (or what ever stamp you guys want to put on something that's like a hub but smaller)... airline must commit to slight increase in gate/slot fees at the chosen airport, but they can then base aircraft at that airport. the aircraft outside of operational hours (e.g. overnight due to flying restrictions, using imagination here) must be at that base. To have an aircraft based overseas or at a different city that isn't another focus city, the airline would then be hit with extra charges such as where the staff would be accommodated (working alongside a scheduling feature maybe?).

Might be mixed opinions on restricting routes to only be flyable by aircraft based at that city? remembering a stop over feature is coming shortly that would allow some flexibility around this.

Seems all the features and ideas in the forums are all based around scheduling feature :rofl2:

#7
craigdwatson

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Good idea, adding to what I said briefly....

Rather than by fleet, organise it by the base city? so going to create a route you only see the aircraft based at that city? (see above)
Any thoughts?

#8
sq_a380

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I think that these "fleets" should be user-created and controlled. One can select whichever aircraft you want to add to a specific fleet.

However, you are limited to having only 1 aircraft type, in 1 configuration, and based at the same location, in each fleet.

When creating routes, only those "fleets" based at the airport are available. For stopovers/fifth freedom routes, only fleets that are currently operating a flight from your base to the connecting city will be allowed.

#9
craigdwatson

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Just a thought I may be wrong...

22 hours per aircraft for example....
2 A320's each with 3 hours remaining, you then set up a flight that has a return flight block time of around 5-6 hours.....

Would we still set-up the routes in same way by seeing a list of individual aircraft to assign frequencies too or would we just select the aircraft family to be used for X amount of frequencies.

I think the base idea is great, but we still need to have control over individual aircraft and how they operate. :ermm:

#10
sq_a380

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Just a thought I may be wrong...

22 hours per aircraft for example....
2 A320's each with 3 hours remaining, you then set up a flight that has a return flight block time of around 5-6 hours.....

Would we still set-up the routes in same way by seeing a list of individual aircraft to assign frequencies too or would we just select the aircraft family to be used for X amount of frequencies.

I think the base idea is great, but we still need to have control over individual aircraft and how they operate. :ermm:


The point of this system is so that we do not have to assign individual aircraft to routes, but rather assign them as a collective fleet. This is what happens in higher-management in airlines in real life.

Your example is correct, and is not impossible in real life. Aircraft do not operate the same flights every day and this allows for optimisation of aircraft hours and greater flexibility.

Individual aircraft rotation and scheduling is usually done at a lower level, and is not fixed. A particular aircraft is only assigned to the particular flight on the particular day around 2 weeks before the flight. This is subject to many changes depending on the circumstances.

Hope you understand what I'm saying :)

#11
craigdwatson

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Aircraft rotating is certainly realistic... my point is not about that lol.... fact remains you could set up a route without a realistic imaginary rotation system ;) but I do certainly agree with the basing of aircraft

#12
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I don't think there is a need to base aircraft, isn't it? If so, how does EK manage to cope at all? If you want to base, well it means that you are cutting off all opportunities to more complex open skies agreements which allow them to for full cabotage etc.

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#13
Sheepy

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EK has, for all intents and purposes, everything based at Dubai.
Although I do like the idea of bases, to continue allowing stopovers I'll propose this. Imagine it sort of as the add aircraft page.
Lets say this is ZRH-CDG. Each line is one aircraft 'group'. We'll say that the A330 group already flies 5 times per week to ZRH from GVA.
Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)/Frequencies available for this route
A320-200 16C/129Y "EuroFly" ZRH 4 560 114
A320-200 20C/117Y "International" ZRH 2 280 114
A330-300 6F/32C/199Y "Long Haul" GVA 2 264 5
This should allow stopovers.

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#14
sq_a380

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EK has, for all intents and purposes, everything based at Dubai.
Although I do like the idea of bases, to continue allowing stopovers I'll propose this. Imagine it sort of as the add aircraft page.
Lets say this is ZRH-CDG. Each line is one aircraft 'group'. We'll say that the A330 group already flies 5 times per week to ZRH from GVA.
Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)/Frequencies available for this route
A320-200 16C/129Y "EuroFly" ZRH 4 560 114
A320-200 20C/117Y "International" ZRH 2 280 114
A330-300 6F/32C/199Y "Long Haul" GVA 2 264 5
This should allow stopovers.


Good example. You clearly understand my concept.

This can also be applied to fifth freedom routes, for example if I want to operate SYD-SIN-LHR.

Say all my aircraft are based at SYD. Without opening a route from SYD-SIN, the system shows "No aircraft available" when I try to create a route for SIN.

So I create a SYD-SIN route 7x weekly.

Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)/Frequencies available for this route
747-400 12F/50J/313Y "International" SYD 1 154 8 (When creating SYD-SIN)

assuming flight time 8hrs, connection time 1hr.
7 x 2 x (8+1) = 126
154-126 = 28

Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)
747-400 12F/50J/313Y "International" SYD 1 28 (After creating SYD-SIN)

With 1 aircraft in the fleet, I have 28 hours left. Assuming 13hr flight time and 1hr connection for SIN-LHR, it allows me to create 1 weekly flight SIN-LHR, leaving me with 0 hours.

Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)/Frequencies available for this route
747-400 12F/50J/313Y "International" SYD 1 28 1

So I buy another aircraft and assign it to this fleet. It becomes

Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)/Frequencies available for this route
747-400 12F/50J/313Y "International" SYD 2 182 6

Still can only fly 6 frequencies. I decide to buy another 744.


Aircraft Type/Configuration/Configuration Name/Group Base/Number of aircraft/Hours available (total)/Frequencies available for this route
747-400 12F/50J/313Y "International" SYD 2 336 7(Limited to number of connecting flights from base)

#15
Viking Air

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The base concept is fine, it is a quite consolidated concept in modern airlines (much more than it was in the '70 or '80 when big airlines were keeping the fleet "fluid" over multi-hub concept.
The concept revealed some weak points: service disruptions on one hub (e.g. weather) was jeopardizing more hub and more planes on the network. E.g. if I have 10 routes from my hub made with 10 different aircraft, once I have the hub closed for weather I generate problems on the roster of 10 aircraft with need of ferrying the planes...
Also technically is much better to have an aircraft being followed by the same maintenance crew then not (mostly for trouble shooting reasons). This is hard to explain shortly, but it was noted to have aprieceable effect on dispatch reliability.

But still the base concept is noy used in some situations: small aiports (too small to be a base, but still need more low-frequency destinations) and long range.
Example is VS flying to US tilting aircraft between Gatwick and Glasgow on the destination (LGW-XXX-GLA-XXX-LGW).

The base concept could also help to develop a more realistic maintenance cost system based on how many type you operate from one base, also giving the possibility to divide the base concept by the pure line station concept.
We could develop a maintenance cost over three type of maintenance station: base-maintenance base (with hangarage facility), aircraft base and line station, with differet stocks of spare parts availability. (if you fly 10 A320 out of 1 base or out of 2 bases has different costs for personnel, facility, and stocks)

#16
Obelix

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Most, if not all, airlines have one or more bases for their aircraft and crew. "Spare" aircraft and crews are available at these bases in case of a mishap. Parking an aircraft overnight at an airport where the aircraft isn't based and paying for hotel accommodations for the crew increases costs. Not having a "spare" aircraft out of a base in case of a mishap also means that pax have to wait for a new aircraft to come and pick them up or wait until the one there is fixed.

From a maintenance point of view making A and/or B checks are cheaper to do at a base with contracted mechanics than doing them at an FBO's location. C checks are usually performed at bases with contracted mechanics and D checks are performed at mayor maintenance facilities which are usually operated by mayor airlines or independent contractors for a fee.

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#17
Obelix

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Like this?
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Something like that. When I played Airline Tycoon back in the late 1990's and early 2000's at least there was a guy to go to to buy used aircraft, build new aircraft, maintain a fleet, schedule flights, build gates, etc. That's in the animation game past, now we're 0's and 1's on a database :)

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#18
txaggie

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You would need to tackle the issue of location as Yuxi pointed out. Airlines aren't in favor of dead-heading aircraft, and that takes time, anyways.

Aircraft bases it tied to reducing maintenance, crew, facility, etc... expenditure. I would love to see AE ultimately work its way to airlines building and placing maintenance bases, crew bases, etc...

#19
Obelix

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You would need to tackle the issue of location as Yuxi pointed out. Airlines aren't in favor of dead-heading aircraft, and that takes time, anyways.

Aircraft bases it tied to reducing maintenance, crew, facility, etc... expenditure. I would love to see AE ultimately work its way to airlines building and placing maintenance bases, crew bases, etc...

Have lived,IRL, delays from not having a replacement aircraft out base to expecting a replacement aircraft. Good for me it wasn't a business trip :)

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#20
txaggie

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Have lived,IRL, delays from not having a replacement aircraft out base to expecting a replacement aircraft. Good for me it wasn't a business trip :)


I think anyone that has flown enough has experienced it at sometime.

The worst is when you can't fly from Point B to Point C because your bird never made the trip from Point A to Point B. I'm sure American Airlines customer service agents across the country have had a wonderful past couple of days if you know what I mean...





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