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Improving Crew Scheduling by Incorporating Key Maintenance Routing Decisions

Amy Mainville Cohn and Cynthia Barnhart
Operations Research
Vol. 51, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2003), pp. 387-396
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4132464
Page Count: 10
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Improving Crew Scheduling by Incorporating Key Maintenance Routing Decisions
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Abstract

Crew costs are the second-largest operating expense faced by the airline industry, after fuel. Thus, even a small improvement in the quality of a crew schedule can have significant financial impact. Decisions made earlier in the airline planning process, however, can reduce the number of options available to the crew scheduler. We address this limitation by delaying some of these earlier planning decisions-specifically, key maintenance routing decisions-and incorporating them within the crew scheduling problem. We present an extended crew pairing model that integrates crew scheduling and maintenance routing decisions. We prove theoretical results that allow us to improve the tractability of this model by decreasing the number of variables needed and by relaxing the integrality requirement of many of the remaining variables. We discuss how to solve the model both heuristically and to optimality, providing the user with the flexibility to trade off solution time and quality. We present a computational proof-of-concept to support the tractability and effectiveness of our approach.

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