Konstantin Biel, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Jörg M. Ries, City University London
The airline industry is considered as one of the most dynamic industries at all. Besides continuous technological advancements, deregulation has been identified as a major driver of this development. To cope with the steadily increasing competition and the resulting cost pressure, airline managers have consistently intensified the use of operations research methods to solve the complex planning problems they face. As computation capacities available have substantially increased in recent years, more and more sophisticated issues can be handled. This article introduces the current challenges within the airline industry and gives an overview of the planning problems whose solutions may significantly benefit from advanced analytical optimization approaches. Based on a systematic literature review, it is shown that the integrated consideration of planning problems, which have thus far been treated separately, as well as robust planning approaches, which aim at reducing the impact of schedule disruptions on the airline performance, rank among the hottest topics within airline operations research.
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