AirPlanner offers a suite of tools designed to maximise revenue potential and resource optimisation within an airline’s strategic planning needs.
Strategic schedule planning
Strategic schedule planning is critical to an airline’s success. This process determines how an airline can achieve its maximum revenue potential while minimising the fleet purchasing and other major resource requirements. How the long term season scheduling can neatly evolve into much shorter term reactive planning.
It is this process that turns high-level revenue opportunities into real profitability.
The PT Approach
The Parc Technologies approach focuses on the iterative development of a schedule using an interactive and fully integrated suite of decision support tools designed for the kinds strategic planning that is vital for all airlines, incorporating the level of detail and customisability that experienced users require.
Parc Technologies has many years of experience of the airlines industry having worked closely with one of the world’s largest airline operators. We are dedicated to providing a full service during and after product implementation to ensure that the requirements of our customers are achieved and that new product developments are focused by our customers’ requirements.
Creating the optimal schedule
In order to find the optimal schedule plan, it is necessary to search through the entire set of possible configurations for the schedule. This set quickly grows unimaginably large as the size of the schedule starts to increase.
For example, to optimise a schedule plan with 2500 flights, where each flight’s may be moved up to two hours forward or back, ie. placed anywhere within a 4 hour time window in 5 minute increments, 482500 scheduling configurations have to be investigated.
Given the number of criteria to just the schedule, this is much harder than finding the most attractive grain of sand in the Sahara. In fact, the number of atoms in the known universe is thought not to exceed 1079.
Conventional tools simply cannot solve this task. Maximising the benefits with regard to one variable is hard, the more variables that are considered, this difficulty only increases.
Parc Technologies’ research arm, IC Parc, at Imperial College is one of the largest and most successful academic centres for the development of optimisation algorithms. IC Parc has over a decade of experience in solving problems of the complexity of airline schedule planning.
User Control and Interaction
Schedule planners must be empowered by the tools. Their knowledge and experience must be unlocked through quality interfaces, which allow full control over all aspects of the search for scheduling solutions.
Automated decision support
Parc Technologies and its research arm, IC Parc, have developed AirPlanner, a tool for automated schedule planning that is suitable for all airlines — including the largest operators. AirPlanner is already deployed at one of the world’s largest airlines. It uses state-of-the-art technology to optimise schedule plans of over 2,500 flights, balancing revenue and operational requirements.
Extensible, Flexible Development
AirPlanner was developed in ECLiPSe, a purpose-built development environment for large-scale applications using Constraints Logic Programming (CLP) that incorporates more than 100 man-years of work by post-doctorate computer scientists, mathematicians and logicians. ECLiPSe is explicitly designed for problem solving through decomposition and hybrid algorithms. It is solver-independent, and its inherent support of CLP allows an incremental and flexible approach to modelling and product development
Our strategy for AirPlanner focuses on the key phases that all schedules must pass through.