How do airlines choose routes for flight recovery

European airlines almost completely stopped their flights due to falling demand and restrictions on the movement of people from different countries. The weakening of quarantine leads to the fact that air carriers begin to return planes to the sky.

However, the pandemic has significantly changed the structure of demand, which forces airlines to take a fresh look at the formation of their network. Brussels Airlines has revealed details of how it determines the routes on which flights will be resumed first.

In a normal situation, the network is already fully formed. The previously existing routes were taken as a basis and those cities that could not be due to entry restrictions were crossed out.

Next, a data analysis system came into play, which checked current and historical data to determine areas that would have significant demand in the coming months.

But the system failed. She could not perceive the whole unprecedented situation and did not reduce a sufficient number of routes. This led to the flight of empty planes and significant losses.

Finding another solution is to generate flight forecasts. Their guides were the various available data:

  • analysis draw trends in Google;
  • trade interviews;
  • questioning of passengers;
  • other data available from the Lufthansa Group.

Further, the employees received information about the available fleet and crew and formed a potential route network, which should be checked for the operational unit to determine the viability of the models.

There should be fewer flights per day on the plane. This is due to the need to do everything possible so that aviation is on the ground between flights due to disinfection and a longer sending time to comply with the requirements for the distance between passengers.

Now the work of forming the network is carried out manually. The flight schedule, until in the end, will not receive a schedule that is most consistent with demand.

But even such work does not guarantee a stable network in the current situation. This means that airlines will need maximum flexibility, as well as new data and changes in flights.

Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.