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  • 08 February 2024 09:14 | David Foster (Administrator)

    I am pleased to announce that Daniel Fry from Alaska Airlines and Michael Wittman from Amadeus have taken on leadership of the Revenue Management and Distribution Study Group. Both have been active participants in the study group and should be well known by all. In addition, Michael was an Anna Valicek finalist in 2016.

    I also want to thank Virginie Lurkin and Dennis Buitendijk for their leadership these past few years and organizing successful meetings virtually during the pandemic and then back in person in Helsinki last year. Virginie stepped down to focus on gaining tenure and we wish her all the best. Dennis has joined the Council as an appointed member and will be leading the Ken Wang Scholar program. Both intend to remain active in the RM study group.


  • 22 October 2023 21:13 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Every three years we elect a new council to govern the organization. This year’s Symposium was the last one for the current council and at its conclusion a new council took over. The 2023-2026 Council consists of:

    • David Foster, Delta Air Lines, President
    • Richard Cleaz-Savoyen, Air Canada, Vice President
    • Laurie Garrow, Georgia Institute of Technology, Past President
    • Eric Ruhlin, United Airlines, Treasurer
    • Lisa Noell, Boeing, Secretary
    • Semi Gabteni, Groupe ADP, Symposium Co-Chair
    • Tim Niznik, American Airlines, Symposium Co-Chair
    • Sergey Shebalov, Sabre, Sponsorship Coordinator


  • 12 October 2023 09:57 | David Foster (Administrator)

    At the 63rd Symposium in Montreal last week, we were pleased to introduce 5 new Ken Wang Scholars.

    • Abdul Ahad Khan, Indian Institute of Technology - Kanpur
    • Haochen Wu, University of Michigan
    • Jenny Tonka, HEC Liège - University of Liège
    • Mohand Ryad Chelbani, Polytechnique Montréal
    • Xiyitao Zhu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    The Ken Wang Scholars program recognizes students who are in the early stages of their careers and are engaging in airline operations research. Details are on our Ken Wang Scholar webpage.

  • 09 October 2023 16:05 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Silver: Thomas Hagspihl, from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, has been recognized by AGIFORS as Winner of the 2023 Anna Valicek Award and was presented with the Silver Anna Valicek Medal for the paper “Apron Layout Planning - Optimal Positioning of Aircraft Stands”.

    Bronze: Jan-Rasmus Künnen, from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany, has been recognized by AGIFORS as Second Place Winner of the 2023 Anna Valicek Award and was presented with the Bronze Anna Valicek Medal for the paper “The value of flexible flight-to-route assignments in pre-tactical air traffic management”.


  • 27 August 2023 16:17 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Our 63rd Annual Symposium in Montreal, hosted by Air Canada, is just over a month away on October 2–5, 2023 and it is shaping up to be a good one.

    The Technical Abstracts are now available on the Technical Program Abstracts page.

    There is still time to register using the link at 63rd Annual Symposium.

  • 14 August 2023 12:02 | David Foster (Administrator)

    We still have a few slots open for the Technical Program at this year's Symposium. We will fill them on a first-come, first-served basis, so don't delay submitting to avoid disappointment!

    The Technical Program provides a unique platform for airline experts and decision makers to come together and exchange ideas on key industry challenges. The Symposium will feature recent advancements of analytical solutions in revenue management, disruption management, schedule recovery, crew recovery, workforce planning, and predictive maintenance.  Many of these features will feature advanced analytics methods, including machine learning and AI.  Experts come from airlines, air transport associations, universities, industrial research labs, consulting firms, and vendors.

    Those interested in giving a technical presentation, please complete the online submission form HERE. If you have any questions please contact Lavanya Marla and Semi Gabteni (technical program co-chairs) at technical_chair@agifors.org

  • 10 August 2023 08:38 | David Foster (Administrator)

    In preparation for the Symposium, we are glad to announce the selection of the 2 finalists for the 2023 Anna Valicek Award competition:

    • Jan-Rasmus Künnen, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany: The value of flexible flight-to-route assignments in pre-tactical air traffic management
    • Thomas Hagspihl, Technical University of Munich, Germany: Apron Layout Planning - Optimal Positioning of Aircraft Stands

    For the attendees interested in reading them ahead of the Symposium, the papers are accessible on the Anna Valicek Award page.

  • 21 July 2023 09:31 | David Foster (Administrator)

    We are delighted to welcome you to Montreal this October when (with a bit of luck) the full fall colors of the Canadian forest will be on display! In addition to 3+ days of technical presentations, we will be recognizing our student Anna Valicek finalists and Ken Wang scholars. The conference will be held at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, centered in a spacious conference room on the top floor with sweeping views of Quebec’s most populous city. There will be several networking events, including a Welcome reception on Monday evening, a sponsored dinner on Tuesday, and a networking event and Gala banquet on Wednesday. Sponsor booths will provide ample opportunities for interacting one-on-one with participants and showcasing products.

    The AGIFORS Symposium’s Technical Program provides a platform for airline experts and decision makers to come together and exchange ideas on key industry challenges. The Symposium will feature recent advancements in revenue management, disruption management, schedule recovery, crew recovery, workforce planning, and predictive maintenance. Many of these features will feature advanced analytics methods, including machine learning and AI. Experts come from airlines, air transport associations, universities, industrial research labs, consulting firms, and vendors.

    Event details can be found here.


  • 09 July 2023 21:47 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Elections for the 2023-2026 Council open on Monday July 10 and run through the end of the month. Bios of the candidates can be found on the Council Election 2023 page (must be logged in as a member to view.) If you are a member, you will receive an email sent to your registered address with a link to cast your vote.

  • 30 September 2022 14:52 | Benedikt Zimmermann (Administrator)


    Distinguished Honor Given for Exceptional Accomplishments and Contributions


    The Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (AGIFORS) has named Karl Isler, retired Senior Director at Swiss Air Lines, Tim Niznik, Director of Analytics for the Integrated Operations Center at American Airlines, and Richard Ratliff, Executive Scientist at Sabre Labs, as AGIFORS Fellows at its 62nd Annual Symposium held in Toulouse, France.


    AGIFORS is a professional society dedicated to the advancement and application of Operational Research in the airline industry with members representing more than 500 airlines, airline manufacturers, universities and aviation related companies and associations. An AGIFORS Fellow is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional accomplishments and experience in the application of operations research to air transportation and who made significant contributions to the AGIFORS community over an extended period of time through participation and leadership.


    Laurie Garrow, President of AGIFORS, describes the accomplishments of each new Fellow.


    “Karl Isler was instrumental in motivating the airline industry to think about ways to manage revenue when low cost carriers entered the market. Not only did he motivate us to look at revenue management methods for undifferentiated products, he gave us a roadmap for how to do it and worked with IATA to make changes in distribution capabilities. Karl has always been a wonderful mentor to junior staff, and many of his former employees are now in important leadership positions in the industry.”


    “Tim Niznik’s passion for improving airline operations and helping make aviation more sustainable is legendary. He has spent his career at American Airlines developing innovative solutions for managing disruptions that have resulted in several patents and features in multiple media outlets including the Charlotte local news station, the New York Timesand CBS This Morning. He has also collaborated with the FAA, NASA and other federal agencies to design and implement solutions that have shaped today’s air transportation system. For example, he worked closely with NASA to help improve aircraft arrival, departure, and surface movement predictability and efficiency and supported operational demonstrations of these new strategies at Charlotte-Douglas and Dallas Ft.-Worth airports. These strategies saved over 1M gallons of jet fuel and 22M pounds of carbon dioxide. Tim has been a strong advocate for AGIFORS and introduced more than 50 new members to the organization during his 17-year tenure as Co-Chair of the Operations Study Group.”


    “Richard Ratliff has made sustained contributions in revenue management over the last three decades across multiple areas spanning retail optimization, dynamic pricing, customer choice modeling, customer segmentation, and network revenue management forecasting and optimization under dependent demands and competition. For example, he was instrumental in the development and implementation of Sabre’s advanced origin-destination revenue management systems at multiple airlines including American, Canadian, and US Airways. Richard has served on the AGIFORS Council and other leadership positions for more than two decades, and has help build and strengthen research collaborations among academics, airlines, and vendors. Richard has given more than 35 presentations at AGIFORS events and continues to deliver thought-provoking presentations at our events.”


    The AGIFORS Council congratulates Karl Isler, Tim Niznik, and Richard Ratliff on their sustained contributions to the airline industry and commitment to mentoring the next generation of airline professionals. Congratulations!

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