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Tentative agenda; subject to adjustments

All times are in Santiago local time

SUNDAY, May 21

 LocationStart time Details 
 18th Floor19:00 - 21:00

Welcome Reception 

18th Floor @ DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago - Vitacura

Monday, May 22

 Location Start time Details 
18th Floor  08:00

Registration desk open (collect badges, etc.)

18th Floor @ DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago - Vitacura

18th Floor  09:00


Joint session SSP + Crew


Keynote Address

Joint session SSP + Crew

Mr. Hernan Pasman, Chief Operations Officer, Latam Airlines Group


Coffee break

2nd Floor

Astoria C

 10:30 SSP Chairs' Welcome Remarks



Technical Presentation: Fleet Assignment under Spill Demand

Mohand AIT ALAMARA, Air France

Given a flight schedule and a set of aircraft configuration, the fleet assignment purpose is to determine which type of aircraft should fly each scheduled flight. The proposed model aims to maximize the total revenue depending on flight features (duration, frequency , passenger unconstrained demand) and aircraft type characteristics (fleet size, cabine capacity, operational costs , freight revenue , preferential assignments). The passenger revenue computation is based on the spill model. It computes an estimated passenger traffic on a route / cabine level, given an unconstrained demand , a seat capacity and a demand distribution parameter. The non-linear shape of the spill function makes the assignment problem very hard to compute. We propose a MIP formulation of the fleet assignment problem that overcomes the non-linear spill complexity. In addition , we prensent an entension of this model in order to adjust the schedule to a fleet size evolution.

 11:15 Airline Update - United Airlines

 11:30 Sponsor Presentation: Lufthansa Systems

2nd Floor Astoria B


Lunch - 2nd Floor Astoria B


Technical Presentation: Validating the Current Practice of Airlines Block Time Estimation: Can We Do Better?

Ahmed Abdelghany, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

This research presents a modeling framework to provide a solution to the airlines' scheduled block time (SBT) design problem. The framework implements a novel data-driven optimization model that considers reliability measures at both the flight and the schedule levels. The framework enables airlines’ schedule planners to examine the relationship between the allocated SBT for each flight and the aggregate schedule reliability and make informed decisions regarding the trade-off between schedule reliability and operational costs. The efficacy of the proposed framework is examined using the schedules of two major U.S. airlines. Experiments are conducted to evaluate the model's effectiveness. In these experiments, the SBT estimated by the model is compared against the SBT provided by the airline for each flight in the schedule. In addition, both the estimated SBT and the SBT provided by the airline are compared against the Actual Block Time (ABT) recorded for all flights in the schedule. Results confirm that there is a room of improving airlines' current practice of block time estimation.


Technical Presentation: Modeling the Global Fleet Assignment to Analyze the Attractiveness and Potential Operating Scenarios of Future Climate-Friendly Aircraft Designs

Markus Kühlen and Klaus Lütjens, German Aerospace Center (DLR)

We present a mixed-integer optimization approach to model the fleet assignment in the global air transportation system. Within the objective function of the optimization, cost and revenue aspects are covered by modeling the direct operating costs and the perceived attractiveness of transport offerings from a passenger’s point of view. The optimization constraints consider, among others, airport capacities, aircraft payload–range performances, and available take-off and landing field lengths. We calibrate the global fleet assignment model with historic fleet and flight schedule data of the period 2010-2019. Finally, we apply the model to analyze the attractiveness and potential operating scenarios of future narrow-body aircraft designs with different climate-friendly propulsion architectures (power-to-liquid, liquid hydrogen and hybrid-electric).


Technical Presentation: Divide and Concur?

Tomas Larsson, Jeppesen

Airlines operate in a complex environment. We cannot absorb all complexity as it is, so we find ways to reduce complexity. We divide our own operation into expert areas, and we aggregate the world around us into groups. Optimization is a powerful tool to master complexity, but the optimizers are designed to master one expert area, like scheduling or crew planning. By extending the competence of the optimizers to have some overlap with adjacent areas, they can accept greater complexity. This presentation provides an example from integration between scheduling and crew planning, where we quantify the value generated when the capacity of scheduling to increase its capacity to absorb crew complexity is increased.


Coffee break


Airline Update - Delta Air Lines


Technical Presentation: The Impact of Network Forecasting Accuracy on Airline Network Planning and Strategic Decisions

Reza Baharnemati and Rajesh Vijayagopal, Amadeus | Kaori Bray, Southwest Airlines

Airline network forecasting is a crucial process for airlines to optimize their network planning and strategic decisions. However, forecasting accuracy is often affected by various factors such as demand uncertainty, market dynamics, operational disruptions, and external shocks. We propose a framework to measure the sensitivity of optimal schedules to changes in forecasted demand and revenue. We use historical data from a major US airline to compare the forecasted and actual network performance indicators such as passenger demand, revenue, load factor, and profitability. We also illustrate how the airline could influence different levels of forecasting accuracy, the optimal network design, and strategic choices of the airline by incorporating additional data sources in the forecasting process. We find that forecasting accuracy has a significant effect on the airline's network planning and strategic decisions and that improving forecasting accuracy can lead to substantial benefits for the airline. We also discuss the implications of our findings for airline network forecasting and planning practice and suggest directions for future research.

   19:00 Networking Dinner  @ DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago - Vitacura


 Location Start time Details 

2nd Floor

Astoria C


Technical Presentation: The Impact of Non-Stop Flights between U.S. and African Countries on Local Trade and Socio Economics Factors

Soheil Sibdari, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

We use international air-service historical data combined with economic, tourism, and trade data sets to examine the impact of non-stop Trans-Atlantic flights between the U.S. and selected African countries on local trade. We use quarterly data between 2009 and 2019, collected from public and private resources and use a panel regression method to conduct and illustrate our results. The outcome of this research helps policy makers, commercial airlines, and international organizations to make better capacity investment and route planning. 

  09:30Airline Update  - Allegiant

SSP Keynote Address


Martin St. George, Chief Commercial Officer, LATAM Airlines Group

Mr. Martin St. George joined LATAM Airlines Group in 2020 as Chief Commercial Officer after a 30+ year career in the airline industry in both North America and Europe. Prior to joining LATAM, he operated an airline strategy consulting practice, where he served airline and travel-industry clients in the United States, the Caribbean and Europe, including a role as interim Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. From 2006 to 2019, he worked for JetBlue Airways, filling roles in marketing, network and ultimately serving as Chief Commercial Officer at JetBlue. Mr. St. George holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Coffee break


Sponsor Presentation - Amadeus

  11:15 Airline Update - Air Canada

Technical Presentation: Network Schedule Planning Policy Evaluation with Digital Twin Operation & Optimization

Suki S. NgCathay Pacific Airways

Schedule planning is a composite of science and experience, where operating strategies, business assumptions and business outlooks are often converted into various levels of planning assumptions and cascaded to multitude of short, medium and long term planning. Looking from execution perspective, there are two weak links in this process, namely operational dynamics and change in risk perception, requiring airlines to frequently tune its policy implementation and yield to suboptimal policy design. In Cathay Pacific, we have adopted an optimization driven simulation strategy to allow quick experimentation of scheduling policies in digital environment. Assumption validity, decision effectiveness, risk exposures and cost implications in operational environments are thoroughly tested and evaluated, enabling a systematic evaluation and profiling on policy parameters, providing a comprehensive capability to plan and experiment new way of work in the post-pandemic era.

  12:00 Interactive Discussion
2nd Floor Astoria A 13:15 Lunch - 2nd Floor Astoria A

Networking Event - Viñamar vineyard tour

Networking Dinner - Viñamar vineyard restaurant

Planned to end at around 22:00


 LocationStart time Details

2nd Floor

Astoria C

 09:00Presentation - TBD

Technical Presentation:  Large-scale Network Optimization to Explore Scenarios that Maximise Yield and Minimise Operational Cost

Wim Vanroose, Motulus.Aero

A seasonal flight schedule is a delicate balance between costumer demand, yields and operational cost. We have developed a computational tool that allows the design of the optimal schedule based on first principles. We model the periodic motion of equipment and crew during the 7-day or 14-day schedule up to a 5 minute resolution. This allows us, for example, to model limitations on arrival and departure slots at coordinated airports or model the transfer of passengers between short and long-haul. Flight yields depend on departure times, destination pairs, and the number of transfer combinations with other flights. Additionally, we consider crew and equipment costs, including duty durations, hotel costs away from base, and maintenance restrictions on airplanes. This model results in a large-scale optimization problem on a space-time graph that is solved with state of the art algorithms and parallel computing. Our tool enables airlines to explore a wide range of network design scenarios, such as network reorganization in response to changing curfew and slot restrictions, increasing aircraft utilization, and expanding the number of holiday combinations in their schedule.

Airline Update - Lufthansa Group


Technical Presentation: Meeting AA Scheduling Goals: How We Deliver Tools that Improve Profitability and Reliability

Ronald Chu and Hossein Dashti, American Airlines

It is well known that the objective of a profitable schedule and an operationally reliable one often works against each other, and it has been a long challenge for the OR practitioner to design tools to find a balance for both. In this talk, we discuss some recent successful enhancements to our scheduling tools that improve both objectives. We explain how we implement the Demand Driven Dispatch model without compromising operation integrity while capturing additional bookings and revenue opportunities. We will also discuss how we insert an Equipment-with-Crew process to bring crew pairing and aircraft routing together to enhance operation reliability while creating significant cost saving. While we are still far from a fully integrated model of fleet assignment, crew pairing, and aircraft routing, it is a small practical step towards the laurels everyone is working for.


Coffee break

  11:15Airline Update - American Airlines

Technical Presentation: Integral Planning & Control - KLM’s Transformation in Supporting the Planning & Control Decision Processes

Matthijs Kieskamp, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

As with the entire industry, KLM was struck hard by COVID-19. In the resulting reorganisation, we seized the opportunity to drastically standardise our IT organisation to be better aligned with the business processes we support. Ranging from development teams being co-located with the business to sponsoring university professors in the field of AI, we implemented an extensive package of measures to help drive innovation in our Planning and Control processes. Driven by our motto “Anticipate the next challenge” we support value streams rather than single pieces of software. Let me tell you about our vision of an airline without islands or ‘throwing over the wall’ but with integral and cross-silo decision support solutions, whether that is our latest schedule optimizer/simulator combination or OC’s revamped ‘Vidiwall’.

  12:15 SSP Closing Remarks
 18th Floor 12:30


 18th Floor 13:30 - 16:30

Joint Technical Session SSP + Crew



Joint session

SSP + Crew

Technical presentation: Balancing Risk and Cost: A Data-Driven Approach to Standby Scheduling

Kitty Oosterveer and Youandi van der Tang

We are excited to present our findings on how to schedule standby crew members more effectively at the upcoming AGIFORS Crew Management Conference in Santiago, Chile. Our team at KLM Crew Planning and Assignment has utilized historical data to improve the determination of required standby crew members.

We understand the importance of having standby crew members available to handle unexpected situations, such as last-minute cancellations due to crew absence or aircraft-type swaps. However, we also recognize the significant cost associated with scheduling standby crew members who are not being used. Through our analysis of historical utilization of standby crew members and trends in crew absence, we have been able to more accurately estimate the need for standby crew members at specific days and times. This allows us to schedule standby crew members more precisely for future production, thereby reducing overall costs and increasing standby efficiency.

During this presentation, we will share our methodology and results, and provide insights on how other airlines can apply similar techniques to improve their own standby scheduling practices.



Joint session

SSP + Crew

Technical Presentation: Retiming for Robustness

Tomas Gustafsson

An airline schedule is a living thing evolving through several phases, with more or less changes. Traditionally Crew Planning has been done under the assumption that the schedule is fixed, with the discussion between Network and Crew Planning primarily being on whether it could be operated at all.

Some years ago we introduced a capability in Crew Pairing allowing the optimizer to suggest minor schedule changes in order to improve the solution, while taking most slot and aircraft routing related constraints into account. This has had significant positive impact for some airlines, being used both in strategic and tactical planning, and sometimes resulting in several percentages of efficiency improvements. More recently, we introduced an approach for using patterns in historical delay data to more surgically assign operational buffers in Crew Pairing, giving gains in productivity and/or robustness. Here, we will for the first time share results for what could be achieved by combining the two ideas. Will the added flexibility of retiming flights open up unexpected opportunities in increasing robustness, or will the two approaches combined give diminishing returns?



Joint session

SSP + Crew

A Robust Pairing Model for Airline Crew Scheduling

Vikrant S. Vaze

Delays and disruptions in airline operations annually result in billions of dollars of additional costs to airlines, passengers, and the economy. Airlines strive to mitigate these costs by creating schedules that are less likely to get disrupted or schedules that are easier to repair when there are disruptions. In this paper, we present a robust optimization model for the crew pairing problem, which generates crew schedules that are less likely to get disrupted. Our model allows adding robustness without requiring detailed knowledge of the underlying delay distributions. Moreover, our model allows us to capture in detail the delay propagation through crew connections and the complex cost structure of the pay-and-credit crew salary scheme, thus enabling us to find a good trade-off between the deterministic component of the planned costs on the one hand and the expected delay and disruption costs on the other hand. Our robust crew pairing model is based on a deterministic crew pairing model formulated as a mixed-integer linear program. The robust version that we propose retains the linearity of the constraints and objective function and thus can be handled by commercial solvers, which facilitates its implementation in practice. We propose and implement a new solution algorithm for solving our model to optimality. Several optimal solutions with varying robustness levels are compared for the network of a moderate-size airline in the United States. We test the model’s solutions in a simulation environment using real-world delay data. Our simulation results show that the robust crew pairing solutions lead to lower delays and fewer instances of operational infeasibilities, thus requiring fewer recovery actions to address them. We find that, with the inclusion of robustness, it is possible to generate crew pairing solutions that significantly reduce the delay and disruption costs with only a small increase in planned costs.



Joint session

SSP + Crew

Pilot Supply Challenges in the United States

John Pepper and Josephine Dietrich - Allegiant Travel Company

Our presentation would cover the current state of pilot supply challenges in the United States, provide our forecast for both pilot demand and pilot supply, provide context/data on the drivers of pilot supply / demand, and show the impact that the lack of pilot supply is having on both domestic and international recovery from COVID. We would also present proposed solutions for the various bottlenecks in the pilot supply pipeline. While our research is most applicable for US market the ramifications are being felt around the world.


Coffee break 

18th Floor


Joint session

SSP + Crew

Conference Closing SSP + Crew

Awards ceremony

Conference recap and farewell 

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