In this lesson we will review the Fleet Planning and Aircraft Selection Process. LEARNING OUTCOMES
Be able to describe the fleet planning process and discuss the importance of selecting the right aircraft to meet the carrier's objectives.
One of the most difficult decisions airline managements must make is whether to buy new or used aircraft and what type to purchase. Factors that have an effect on this fleet planning process come from two (2) points of view; the Airline point of view, and the aircraft manufacturer point of view. The Airline Point of View:
There are several factors that are considered by the Airlines when conducting fleet planning: Deregulation - Following deregulation competition increased as new entrants entered the market. Established carriers had to find ways to reduce the operating costs associated with aircraft already in their inventory that were not as operational efficient as the newer generation equipment being used by the new entrants. Hub-and-Spoke System - Hub airports used by airlines were becoming more congested so the tendency is to use larger aircraft rather than smaller ones especially during peak times at the airports. The idea was to be able to carry more passengers on fewer aircraft thereby reducing congestion at the hub airports. Technical Aspects - The purchase or lease of a particular type aircraft was more of an economic decision than an engineering or pilot decision. The type aircraft selected had to be able to provide a certain return on investment. Fleet Rationalization - As the airlines consolidated, the airlines began to reduce the number of different types of aircraft in their fleet. Airlines began ato make large orders with aircraft manufactures. Fleet Commonality - As the airlines rationalized their fleets they choose aircraft with similar pilot type ratings. For example, the Boeing family of 737,