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A global approach to crew-pairing optimization

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3 Author(s)
Anbil, R. ; American Airlines Decision Technologies, Mail Drop 3F22, P.O. Box 619616, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Texas 75261, USA ; Tanga, R. ; Johnson, Ellis L.

The problem addressed in this paper is crew-pairing optimization in airline flight planning: finding tours of duty (pairings) that are legal and cover every flight leg at the least cost. The legal rules and cost of a pairing are determined by complex Federal Aviation Agency and contractual requirements. In addition, the problem is made more difficult by the hub-and-spoke system used by airlines that multiplies the possible ways a pairing can link flight legs. The state-of-the-art crew-pairing TRIP system of American Airlines uses subproblem optimization and, as is true for other crew-scheduling systems, may not be able to improve a solution even though a better one exists. We report on the methodology developed during a joint study by IBM and American Airlines Decision Technologies to use the IBM Optimization Subroutine Library in conjunction with TRIP to improve on crew-pairing solutions by taking a global approach. The resulting improvements have been a reduction of 5 to 11 percent in excess crew cost. Estimated total savings are five million dollars per year.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

1992

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