NEWS


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  • 09 July 2020 10:49 | Jonas Rauch (Administrator)

    The poll for the 2020 Council election has closed and the following candidates have been elected to the Council for the 2021-2023 term:

    • Zeliha Akca
    • Richard Cleaz-Savoyen
    • Semi Gabteni
    • Laurie Garrow
    • Lisa Noell
    • Eric Ruhlin
    • Benedikt Zimmerman
    Congratulations to all future Council members!
  • 14 June 2020 17:45 | Jonas Rauch (Administrator)

    Voting for the election of the next AGIFORS Council is open starting today, Sunday, 14 June 2020 until Sunday, 5 July 2020. Please see the 2020 Council election page for the list of candidates and a link to the poll. 


    The AGIFORS Council consists of at least eight members and is responsible for governing and administering to the AGIFORS community. The positions on the council currently include President, Vice-President, Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Study Group Coordinator, Symposium Chair, Symposium Technical Chair, Membership Secretary, Communications Officer.

    Our current President David Foster will serve as Past President, and seven candidates are elected to the Council by means of this election. Consequently, each AGIFORS Member and Fellow will be able to cast seven votes across the nine candidates, with a maximum of one vote per candidate. 

    In addition, the president in consultation with the council can appoint additional members to the council who provide necessary services in the best interest of the organization.  It is then the responsibility of the council itself to assign the various positions based on each member’s interest and qualifications.

    Short bios of each candidate and their involvement with AGIFORS so far can be found here.

  • 09 May 2020 06:02 | Jonas Rauch (Administrator)

    AGIFORS is an all-volunteer organization and its continued success and growth relies on the support of our members. Everyone is encouraged to play an active role. Serving on the Council is a rewarding way for members to give back to the OR community by sharing your time, experience, and ideas.


    AGIFORS invites all qualified members to consider running for a seat on the council for the 2021-2023 term.


    The Council consists of at least eight members and is responsible for governing and administering to the AGIFORS community. The positions on the council currently include President, Vice-President, Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Study Group Coordinator, Symposium Chair, Symposium Technical Chair, Membership Secretary, Communications Officer. In addition, the president in consultation with the council can appoint additional members to the council who provide necessary services in the best interest of the organization.


    Members are elected to the council, and it is the responsibility of the council itself to assign the various positions based on each member’s interest and qualifications.


    Within the guidelines set forth by our constitution, we are hereby accepting nominations for the upcoming AGIFORS Council elections. If you wish to nominate someone (including yourself), please submit your nomination at Council Nominations or through the following link https://forms.gle/dN36KaCPpCQSZ5xCA until May 15, 2020.


    On the form, please include the following information about the proposed candidate:

    • Full Name

    • Contact information (email, phone)

    • Affiliation (Airline, University, Company (solution vendor, consultancy))

    • AGIFORS involvement (presenter, attendee at study groups and/or symposium)

    • A brief summary (100 word max) of why the nominated candidate is suitable for serving on the council

    Please note that only candidates that have been full AGIFORS members for at least 5 years are qualified to stand for election.


    The election process will be administered online during the months of May/June 2020, and the general AGIFORS community will be given the opportunity to ‘meet’ each candidate through online profiles/biographies. The polls will remain open for at least two weeks, and the final results will be communicated back to the community before the start of the 60th Annual AGIFORS Symposium scheduled for this fall in Toulouse.


    If you may have any questions or to want to learn more about serving on the Council, please don’t hesitate to contact AGIFORS Secretary John-Paul Clarke (secretary@agifors.org), AGIFORS President David Foster (president@agifors.org), or any of the current council members.


  • 15 April 2020 11:13 | Cleaz Richard (Administrator)

    AGIFORS’ Anna Valicek Award competition is destined to recognize original and innovative research in the application of operations research to airline and/or airline related business problems. We invite you to submit your research paper before June 1st, 2020!
    Refer to the
    Anna Valicek page for more details on the criteria and eligibility.


  • 11 April 2020 15:23 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Dear AGIFORS Members and Friends,


    Most importantly, I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. As we continue to navigate through this unprecedented situation, I know many of you are wondering about how this pandemic might affect AGIFORS, both now and in the future. Unfortunately, in many instances, the answer is simply “we don’t know yet.” However, I will try my best to answer some of the questions that I know you must have.


    Study Group Meetings


    As many of you already know, we have had to cancel all our Study Group meetings this spring. We were excited to once again have a full set of meetings around the world. Planning for Crew Management in Istanbul (hosted by Turkish Airlines), Revenue Management in Helsinki (hosted by Finnair) SSP in Dallas/Fort Worth and the Airline Operations/Aircraft Maintenance joint meeting in Oman (hosted by Oman Air) were well underway when we had to make the decision to cancel. At this time, for a variety of reasons, we are not planning to reschedule them but will skip them this year and resume them as usual in Spring 2021. Nonetheless, as an alternative, we are exploring hosting virtual meetings to replace this year’s physical meetings; more on that later in this letter.


    The good news is that all the host airlines agreed to remain as hosts next year as well as all the hotels. Therefore, we will still be going to those locations, albeit in 2021. New dates will be announced later this year. The meetings are always interesting and informative but should be especially so next year as we talk about how we went about winding-down our respective airlines and how we addressed (and continue to address) issues with ramping back up. We look forward to seeing you all next year.


    Many thanks go to all the study group chairs, Marcel Sol (QR), Samuel Rosat (Ivado Labs), Virginie Lurkin (Eindhoven), Hunkar Toyoglu (McKinsey), Cumhur Gelogullari (AA), Yuxi Xiao (AA), Michael Irrgang (Boeing), Judith Semar (LH), Rod Tjoelker (Boeing) and Mei Zhang (AA), for all their hard work on first organizing and then canceling the meetings.


    Annual Symposium


    As I write this letter, we are still planning to hold the 60th Annual Symposium as scheduled from 14 to 17 September in Toulouse, France with Air France/KLM and Airbus as our hosts. AGIFORS was founded in 1960 by Air France and KLM, among others, and the first annual symposium was held in the south of France, so we are looking forward to celebrating our 60th birthday at the same location hosted by our founders. That said, while we are going to continue to proceed with our planning, we will follow the lead of governments and public health experts to determine if it is safe and appropriate to meet. I cannot emphasize this enough – the health and safety of our members and our entire global community is our number one priority and that will be our guiding principle as we decide if and when to hold the conference. Semi Gabteni (OpenAirlines) and Rodrigo Acuna-Agost (Amadeus) will be sending out updates as they become available.



    Anna Valicek Competition and Ken Wang Scholar Program


    We are also proceeding with both the Anna Valicek Competition and the Ken Wang Scholar program. This will happen even if the symposium is cancelled. Traditionally, the two Anna Valicek finalists present their papers at the symposium.  While we hope that will be possible this year, we will make alternative arrangements if necessary, to select the Silver and Bronze medals this year. Be on the lookout for the official announcement from our competition director, Richard Cléaz-Savoyen (AC), soon.


    While we are also looking forward to announcing our first Ken Wang Scholars at the symposium, regardless of what the future holds, we will be selecting two recipients this year. More on that to come from Dr. Laurie Garrow (Georgia Tech).


    Virtual Study Group Meetings


    As we cannot meet in person this year, we are exploring the possibility of holding a virtual conference. Airline Operations and Maintenance Operations are taking the lead in organizing one and working out the technical and practical logistics. We are still working on the challenges of presenting to a globally dispersed audience in multiple time zones while keeping the intimacy of live interactions and selecting the best technology to use. More details will be posted on our website (agifors.org) as soon as they are available. If you are interested in participating or helping to organize it, please contact the organizers at ops@agifors.org.


    If successful and there is enough interest, we may expand the concept to other groups.


    Council Elections


    This year we will also be holding elections for the Council. Every Council member is elected for a three-year term with the new Council taking office immediately on the conclusion of the annual symposium. Later this year, we will be electing seven new officers to run our organization. Officers are elected to the Council as a whole and must include at least four airline employees. At the first council meeting, the new council will select the president, treasurer and all other positions from those elected. A request for nominations will be issued soon. If you have been a member for at least five years, we hope you consider running.


    Financial Impact on AGIFORS


    Fortunately, we entered this year with a good financial reserve. As an all-volunteer organization, our overhead costs are minimal.  Moreover, as a non-profit, we run our meetings with the goal of breaking even. As the extent of the pandemic became clear, we were able to cancel our Spring meetings before we incurred any significant non-refundable costs. In addition, the hotel sites have worked with us to apply any deposits we may have already made to next year’s meetings. Thanks to the hard work of our Treasurer, Eric Ruhlin (UA), and all the Study Group chairs, the financial impact on AGIFORS has been manageable.


    In closing, I would just like to acknowledge that this is a devastating situation for so many people across the world and for the airline industry. Never in my lifetime (and I was born at the dawn of the jet age)  have so few people in America flown on any given day as they did this week, and for the first time since the Wright brothers, no one anywhere in the US was building a commercial airplane. Nonetheless, I know we will recover and find ways to once again succeed. We are in the business of Connecting the World (or Uniting the World, according to my friends in Chicago) and before long people will start flying again. As the industry reboots itself, new problems (as well as all the old ones) will need to be solved and the AGIFORS community is ideally positioned to address them. I do not know when that will happen, but I do know this – following the directives of our public health experts is paramount. So please continue to stay at home as much as possible, always practice social distancing and frequently wash your hands. Most importantly, it saves lives. But secondarily, it will help us get back to doing the things that we love to do sooner rather than later. I can’t wait to get to the other side of this and welcome everyone again at our annual meetings and symposium and to hear all the innovative ways we are helping with the industry’s recovery.


    Best wishes,

    David M. Foster
    Delta Air Lines
    President – AGIFORS
    president@agifors.org



  • 27 March 2020 07:58 | Jonas Rauch (Administrator)

    Dear Colleagues,


    As the situation with the coronavirus all around the world kept deteriorating rapidly, we had no choice but to decide to cancel the AGIFORS Scheduling and Strategic Planning Meeting in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, USA this year. We believe this is the best decision, given the ongoing uncertainty, travel restrictions, drastic cost-cutting initiatives taken by all airlines, vendors, and other companies; but most importantly, for the health and safety of all our members.


    We would like to thank you all, for always supporting the SSP community, by sharing your knowledge and expertise and recent developments, as well as for caring for each other.


    Thank you for your understanding. We are looking forward to a resolution of the situation sooner than later and meeting with you all next time.


    Take care, stay safe.


    Yuxi Xiao and Cumhur Gelogullari

    ssp@agifors.org

  • 12 March 2020 04:18 | Jonas Rauch (Administrator)

    Today as the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, we had no choice but to take the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 AGIFORS Revenue Management Meeting in Helsinki. This decision was taken with heavy heart, but was inevitable given the rapid deterioration of the situation around the COVID-19.


    Safety of our attendees was our biggest concern when taking the decision. In addition, many airlines, vendors and academic institutions around the globe have introduced travel restrictions following the advices of their national authorities. 


    No need to say that we are extremely sad to have had to cancel our meeting. We sincerely apologize to all participants who were looking forward to join us in Helsinki. Of course, we will refund all those who have registered already, as well as all the sponsors we received.


    We want to express a very big thank you to the team at Finnair for their help and support during the last months. We are very glad to announce that they already accepted to remain our co-host for next year meeting and we therefore hope to see you all in Helsinki in 2021!


    Finally, we want to thank you, the AGIFORS RM members, for the ongoing trust you place in our community, and for your sense of understanding and caring. Without you, this study group would not exist in the first place.

     

    We wish you all the best, and assure you that we are fully committed to make the next Revenue Management Meeting an extraordinary one!

     

    Take care of yourself!

     

    Virginie Lurkin and Hunkar Toyoglu.

     

    “Our power is in our choice of how to respond to the challenges and crisis in our lives”.


  • 10 March 2020 09:13 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Today we have had to take the decision to cancel the 2020 Agifors Crew Management Meeting in Istanbul.


    We are very sad to have had to take this this decision, but given the uncertainty that surrounds the COVID-19 Virus, we had no other option than to take this. There are currently numerous travel restrictions imposed by national authorities around the globe, restricting people traveling from one country to the other. And more of these restrictions are being imposed on a moment by moment basis.


    The current situation is so much in motion at this moment, that there is no way for us to predict how it will continue to develop in the 40 days leading toward the projected start date of the event. We could not take the responsibility in case our delegates could not return timely and safely to their point of origin. But foremost we do not want to add the tiniest bit of risk to the health of anybody.


    At this point we want to apologize to all who were, like us, looking forward to the event. Those who have registered already will get a full refund. This also applies to all the sponsors of the event. Their sponsorship fees will be refunded also. 


    Also we do want to express a mountain of thanks to the absolutely marvelous team at Turkish Airlines. They have done a outstanding job, and we were heading towards a truly wonderful event. So sad, that it was not to be, at least not in 2020. However, very much hope to retain Turkish Airlines as the co-host for the 2021 Agifors Crew Management Meeting.


    Our thanks also go to all those who took the effort to register already, and to those who intended to do so in the coming weeks. Without you, this event would not be here! We do hope that you will all bear with us, and continue to support the Agifors community next year. We will be back, better and bigger than ever!


    All the Best, stay healthy, and stay safe.


    Samuel Rosat

    Marcel Sol


  • 03 December 2019 18:25 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Details are still being worked out, but we are planning a full schedule of meetings next year. All Study Group Meetings will take place April/May and the Symposium in September/October. Exact dates will be announced as soon as possible.

     

    Study Groups:

    • Crew Management: Istanbul, Turkey – Hosted by Turkish Airlines - 20-22 April
    • Revenue Management: Helsinki, Finland – Hosted by FinnAir - 5-7 May
    • Airline Operations (including Maintenance Operations): Muscat, Oman - Hosted by Oman Air - 1-4 June
    • Schedule and Strategic Planning: TBD


    Annual Symposium:

    • Toulouse, France – Hosted by Air France/KLM and Airbus


  • 05 November 2019 04:33 | Jonas Rauch (Administrator)

    Keji Wei, from the Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA, has been recognized by AGIFORS as Winner of the 2019 Anna Valicek Award and was presented with the Silver Anna Valicek Medal for the paper “Airline Timetable Development and Fleet Assignment Incorporating Passenger Choice

     

    Maximilian Pohl, from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, has been recognized by AGIFORS as Second Place Winner of the 2019 Anna Valicek Award and was presented with the Bronze Anna Valicek Medal for the paper “Runway Scheduling during Winter Operations


    Congratulations to both winners! Links to the papers and more information can be found on the Anna Valicek Award web page

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Phone: +1 (404) 385-6634

Email: president@agifors.org

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