Monday, April 30, 2012

Network (Part 2)

Annina Moser, Team Member Scheduling

Long Term Scheduling covers roughly the time period "today + 5 weeks" to the end of System Range, which is the term for the time range within which flights can be published in axRes, i.e. the next 340 days.

Long Term Scheduling works together with Revenue Management. The so-called “peak list, in which flight analysts enter data about events relating to a specific destination, plays an important part here. (See photo below).

Many of these “peaks” are trade fairs for which RM generates maximum profit through long-term capacity management. This is why an A321 may be scheduled for a peak period in place of the customary ARJ used on a particular route. (See photo below).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Snow Patrol on air

Interview: Aline Franklin/Tito Franklin
Photos: Universal Music

Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
Generally the initial ideas come from our lead singer Gary and perhaps what he’s going through at that particular point in time.

The band is currently on its 2012 tour. Is there a particular place where you are looking forward to performing?
There are a few new places on this tour. Next week we’re off to Dubai and then Oman. That’s new territory for us, as we have never been to the Middle East. It’s always good to visit new places – so we’re excited about that.

What would you say are some of your favourite destinations?
We always have a good time in places like the US, and Mexico is also great. Just last year, we went to Buenos Aires, which I loved. However, the new places are the ones that you also tend to enjoy, because you have the feeling that you want to go out and visit the whole city.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Network (Part 1)

Lucas Deflorin, Deputy Manager Schedule Planning

The role of Current Schedule Planning is to work closely with Revenue Management to plan aircraft capacity for maximum efficiency, i.e. deploy larger aircraft (e.g. Airbus A321) on flights for which demand is strongest and smaller aircraft (e.g. Airbus A319, Avro) on flights for which demand is relatively light.

For cities hosting a trade fair, for example, we know up to a year in advance that demand will be strong and can see in our system how full flights are for that destination at that time of year. The following series of pictures shows the status of the A320 and A321 fleet on 31 March. All “yellow” flights are full; while “orange” indicates a very good level of bookings and “blue” shows relatively light demand (see photo on the left side). The fact that a relatively large number of flights are full is due to the start of Easter holidays in parts of Europe. You can see that the flights from London are nearly sold out, which indicates that many people from Britain have chosen Switzerland as their skiing holiday destination.

Flights to southern destinations show a strong booking pattern. They will be transporting mostly Swiss passengers or passengers transferring in Zurich to an onward flight. Our primary goal is to transport as many passengers as possible at the highest level of revenue. In other words, we not only want our flights to be “yellow” (full), we also want to generate as much revenue as possible on its network. The A320 can carry a maximum of 168 passengers. The question is: where to deploy the A321? On this particular 31 March the decision is relatively simple: many passengers fly from north to south, which means that on the following weekend some of them will be making the homeward journey in the reverse direction. And two weeks later, when the Easter holidays everywhere are finished, demand will be strong for seats on flights travelling from south to north.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Transformed! (My sky-high life)

Janine Werner, Cabin Crew Member

Big party, clique vibe and so on? – Far from it. Jetlag is generally the main factor at most destinations, prompting each of us to function according to our own rhythm. Layovers are often coloured by loneliness or a feeling of not knowing what to do with the available time. But not on this occasion...

It’s not fairly typical during a layover to hear colleagues say things like “I have to contact my boyfriend on Skype; I’m going shopping; I’ve have something important to take care of.”.... Then we each go our own way and do our own thing.

But on my most recent Beijing flight the team feeling made a strong comeback. We were as jittery as on our first flight. Flying to this “new-old” destination made us feel like we were on a short holiday. An excursion to the Great Wall and sightseeing in small groups were part of the programme, as was a group massage.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A blog about photographing aircraft (plane spotting) - Part 2

Markus Guler, Business Analyst & Project Leader Expert

Switzerland is regarded worldwide as a spotter’s paradise thanks to the combination of interesting air traffic and beautiful locations.

Zurich Airport is one of the most spotter-friendly in the world. The public observation deck that was opened in December 2011 has further heightened the appeal of ZRH. Visitors can enjoy unobstructed views of the apron and runways and consult the notice boards for information about the various aircraft in action. With a simple press of a button visitors can listen to the radio communication taking place between the tower and the aircraft. The area around the airport also caters to the needs of aircraft enthusiasts. The Heligrill in Rümlang and the visitor car park beneath the approach path in Oberglatt are well known locations. There are numerous advantageous spots for shutterbugs on the footpaths and cycling trails that more or less circumnavigate the airport. At certain locations there are official gaps in the fencing that allow photographers to get clear shots of aircraft taking off and landing.