The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization
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The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization

DALLAS – Aircraft are the most important and valuable assets of an airline. Of course, no carrier is able to make a profit without flying aircraft, so the convenient and efficient use that companies make of their fleets is one of the most crucial factors that determine whether a carrier will or will not survive in the long term in the worldwide air travel market.

The complex art of aircraft utilization has been studied by carriers since the beginning of commercial aviation, where departments develop amazing strategies to gain the highest profit possible for their respective airlines.

We’ll discuss some of the techniques and methodologies that all types of airlines implement to best utilize their aircraft.

Wizz Air HA-LWM Airbus A320-232. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Low-Cost Carriers

Low-cost carriers like Wizz Air (W6), Southwest Airlines (WN), and Ryanair (FR) are some of the most admirable and thriving aviation businesses ever designed.

The current success of LCCs around the world is mainly made up of enormous cost reductions supported by the tricky world of economies of scale and passenger psychology, but also due to their large number of routes and airplanes.

Ryanair’s fleet is composed of 270 Boeing 737 family aircraft and it is distributed around more than 80 hubs in Europe, where some of them even need only one aircraft based at the airport.

The true hack for profitability, however, is the high rate of aircraft utilization per day. In the case of FR, the airline uses its airplanes for 9.1 hours on average every day.

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Featured image: Ryan Scottini/Airways

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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