Log in


Scheduling and Strategic Planning

Annual Meeting

3-5 June 2019     Paris, France

  • A forum for airline managers and personnel, vendors, and members of academia to discuss trending issues facing airline scheduling and planning, offer potential solutions, and provide opportunity for networking
  • Airline updates on the latest plans, challenges, and models and systems needs 
  • Technical presentations from leading experts in the airline industr
  • Joint presentation session with Airline Operations study group
  • A special Aircraft Maintenance Operations breakout session this year
  • Representatives from 24 airlines: Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot Russian Airlines, AirBlue, Air Canada, Air France KLM, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Condor, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Indigo, LATAM, Lufthansa Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Siberia Airlines (S7), Singapore Airlines, Transavia, Turkish Airways, United Airlines, Xiamen Airlines
  • Vendors exhibitions in the field of airline operations control, airport planning systems, crew management, and maintenance planning; from 17 vendors: Amadeus, AIMS International, Asare.io, BCG, Boeing/Jeppesen, Cirium, FlightAware, GE Aviation Digital, Global Eagle/masflight, INFORM, Lufthansa Systems, M2P, OpenAirlines, ORTEC Consulting, Sabre Airline Solutions, SITA, SlickOR

For questions or more information, please contact SSP chairs:

- Cumhur Gelogullari - ssp@agifors.org 

- Lisa Noell - ssp@agifors.org 

Conference Keynote

The conference keynote address will be given at part of the joint session on Tuesday 4 June at 11:00 by Ekbel Bouzgarrou - Vice President Information Technology Distributed Services - Air France / KLM.

Ekbel Bouzgarrou is the Vice-president of Air France-KLM’s Information Technology Distributed Services. After obtaining a PhD in Operations Research and Computer at Grenoble’s Institut Polytechnique, he joined Air France in 1999 as an Operations Research engineer. He led the Operations Research department between 2005 and 2011 and then managed the IT program aiming to build the new Revenue Management tool. Prior to his current position, Ekbel was the Air France KLM Group’s Chief Technology Officer.

In addition, Ekbel was a member of the AGIFORS council for a number of years over the past decade.


The registration fee includes conference technical materials (delegates only), all scheduled meals and social events outlined in the meeting agenda. Early registration fee before May 1st 2019 is US$350 per airline/academic delegate, US$700 per industry delegate, and US$1050 per vendor delegate. 


Register Now

Late Registrations

Registrations received after May 1st 2019 will be considered late and will incur an additional US$115 late fee, with no exceptions. 

Cancellation Policy

Any cancellation requests before May 1st 2019 will be subject to a US$115 service fee per person, after this date the cancellation fee will be US$175 per person to cover the incurred expenses.

Call For Presentations

You are invited to submit a proposal to present at the meeting. Come and share with us your ideas, thoughts, practical innovations, current trends, case studies, philosophies, and latest advances on the topics which are relevant to you. 


Abstract Submission

For abstract submission, please use the form above.

If you cannot access the form, please send the title and the abstract of your presentation to  ssp@agifors.org

Abstract Submission Deadline: May 13th

Draft Presentation Due: May 20th

Final Presentation Due: May 24th


  • A 30-45 minute presentation
  • Willingness to comply with requests for additional information and clarification on abstract and/or presentation material
  • Willingness to tailor a presentation for the AGIFORS SSP audience and to accept direction from the selection committee in doing this
  • Must register and attend the meeting

General Information


Business Events - Business Casual

Welcome Reception - Business Casual

Social Events - Evening Casual



Paris, France weather in June would be good. Plan for low 55F/14C and high 73F/23C.


Discounted hotel registration is no longer available!

Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel

60, Jardin de Valmy 92918

Tel +33 1 41 97 50 50 

The accessible location makes it easy for you to explore Paris; Les Quatre Temps and Grande Arche de la Defense are just moments away, as is Champs Elysées by the Metro. We know you'll love your stay at the Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel.


A limited number of our discounted rooms are available at the Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel for the conference (from 3 June through 7 June).

Reservations must be made via our dedicated website by 1 May 2019 to receive the specially negotiated rate of €239 for single occupancy (inclusive wifi access, breakfast).  Hotel room rates are inclusive of VAT but subject to a city tax. 

All credit card information must be provided to confirm reservations using the customized link below.

Host Airline

Conference Sponsors

Gold Level    

Tentative Agenda

Program is tentative and is subject to change without notice

Scroll down the page for presentation abstracts.

Monday, 3 June

17:00 18:00 Registration


Welcome Reception and Cocktails
Sponsored by Boeing/Jeppesen


Tuesday, 4 June



08:00 15:00


08:00 08:30

Conference Opening / Introductions 

08:30  09:00

Why is your Flight Late? Mining Airline Data to

Assess Root-Causes & Impact of Delays

Goran Stoikovic - Boeing Global Services

09:00 09:30

Kick starting your analytics program, key tools

and data required for maintenance optimization

Helmuth Naumer - IBM

09:30 10:15

Machine Learning Application for Automatic

Analysis of Aircraft Operations Interruptions

W. Olivares L. Vianna, J. E. Cardoso Cruz - EMBRAER



Coffee Break

10:30 11:00

Schedule Planning with Hub Infrastructure


Augustin Lombard, Alexandre Pizzut - Air France KLM



Keynote Address: Ekbel Bouzgarrou

Vice President Information Technology Distributed Services

Air France KLM

12:00 13:15 Business Lunch

Sponsored by Cirium

Coffee Break
Digital Operations Transformation

Fernando Bosch - BCG



Vendor Presentations

    Sabre | Lufthansa Systems | Boeing/Jeppesen

14:30 15:00

Vendor Presentations

     Cirium | Amadeus/Optym | IBM | SITAOnAir

15:00 15:30  Coffee Break

16:00 22:00  Dinner Cruise on the Seine
 Sponsored by Sabre Airline Solutions


Wednesday, 5 June


08:00 08:15

Opening / Introductions

08:15 08:45

Airline Updates

    Air France KLM | Aeroflot

Vendor Update

     Industrial Optimizers



Forecasting Passenger Aircraft Demand

over a 20 Year Horizon

Romain Doucet, Rohan Nanda - Airbus

09:30 10:15

Choice-Based Airline Schedule Design and

Fleet Assignment

Vikrant Vaze - Dartmouth College,  Chiwei Yan,

Cynthia Barnhart - MIT

10:15 10:30

Coffee Break 

10:30 11:00

Airline Updates

    American | Hawaiian | Latam

11:00  11:45

OnD Based Scheduling -

Stop Scheduling Flights, Start Scheduling Networks

Felix Windisch, Zuehal Aydin - Lufthansa Systems

11:45 12:15

Predicting Schedule Reliability

Jeff Warren, Benjadol Chakravut, Ramakrishna Thiruveedhi,

Sergey Shebalov - Sabre Airline Solutions

12:15 13:30

Business Lunch

Sponsored by FlightAware

13:30 13:50

Airline Updates

    JetBlue | United

13:50 14:20

Efficient Network Planning Using Heuristics and

Machine Learning

Deepak Agrawal, Jataveda Dasgupta,

Hari Sreekumaran - American Airlines

14:20 15:05

How Much to Invest in Block Times?

Interactive Session  led by Cristian Ricardo Carrizo Vergara

Latam Airlines

15:05 15:20

Coffee Break

15:20 15:30

Airline Updates

    Air Transat

15:30 16:20

Short-Term Forecasting of Global Passenger

Traffic Given Schedule Changes

Ankur Mawandia, Prashanth Sriram - Amadeus

16:20 16:50

Robust Flight Operation Planning Using

Delay Simulation

Mohammad Kouhi, German Gutierrez, Francesc Pons Llopis, Icamaan Bothelo, Rita Barata - Vueling Airlines

16:50 17:05 Conference Closing / Awards

Vendor Program

Vendor Exhibition

In addition to being a major forum for sharing new concepts and ideas in airline operations, the conference provides an opportunity for vendors to meet directly with airline delegates, provide in depth demonstrations, and discuss future opportunities, and partnerships. We have scheduled dedicated time slots for vendor presentations, and exhibitions.  

Each vendor delegate is required to register for the conference at a nominal registration fee. As a vendor delegate, you are entitled to a 10 – 15 minute slot in the vendor program to do a company overview and/or dedicated presentation. In addition, you will have access to a table top display in the vendor exhibition area.

Conference Sponsorship

If your company is interested in sponsorship opportunities, we are offering a variety of sponsorship packages for your consideration.  With each package, your company with be recognized an official sponsor for the conference, and recognized at the start of each day’s proceedings.  In addition, you will receive additional benefits based on your level of sponsorship.

Bronze – Placement of company signage at the conference registration desk, and backdrop of podium (1150 USD)

Silver – Acknowledgement at a select social event, preferential selection of booth location, plus benefits of the bronze level (2300 USD)

Gold – Complimentary upgrade to an executive level club suite, plus benefits of the silver level (4600 USD)

If you would like to sign up for one of the limited sponsorship opportunities, please complete the online submission form at your earliest convenience. Please add in the comments section "Sponsorship for SSP 2019". 

Visa Information

See here for visa requirements for France.


If you need a visa, please check the wait times at your consulate and allow for plenty of time. If you need supporting documentation, please contact the conference chairs.

Presentation Abstracts

Why is your flight late? Mining airline data to assess root-causes and impact of delay propagation

Goran Stojkovic
Boeing Global Services


Air transportation systems are exposed to daily disruptions, which have significant impact on operations. Airlines operate tight schedules to maximize resource utilization. However, the lack of sufficient buffers often result in propagating delays. In this paper, we propose a framework for automatic detection of root-causes of delays and their propagation effects. We test our framework on empirical data of several airlines. Presentation on one case study where airline is prone to delay propagation through passenger connections. Additionally, majority of those delays are related to airport capacity, resource allocation, and passengers, and mainly originate from the hub. Obtained results and future research focus areas are  discussed.

Kick starting your analytics program, key tools and data required for maintenance optimization

Helmuth Naumer



Predictive maintenance, knowing parts will fail before they fail, is the Holy Grail for airline technical operations.  Many airlines struggle with getting cognitive solutions up and running. Cognitive tools have matured, and offer a great foundation for analyzing task cards, log books, and other maintenance data. By providing an analysis of historical data to line maintenance or maintenance control, technical operations can resolve faults faster, which will reduce their maintenance costs, aircraft downtime, and AOG’s.  Predictive maintenance combines this analysis with reliability and operational data/analysis/modeling.  Those airlines that take advantage of these new technologies will greatly outperform their competitors and show much higher operational margins.  This presentation will summarize the steps technical operations can take to initiate the journey to predictive maintenance while gaining many benefits along the way.


Digital Operations Transformation

Fernando Bosch



The BCG - KLM partnership has advanced since last year with optimization and AI tools now integrating advanced machine learning to have decision support tools interacting with each other across silos (OCC, Crew, Ground Services) and across time horizons (long/ medium term planing and day of execution. We would like to discuss how the models interact with each other and how that enables changes in the way of working, required skill sets, planning processes, etc.

Schedule planning with hub infrastructure constraints

Alexandre Pizzut

Air France KLM

Network planning is not only a difficult commercial offer problem. All kinds of operational constraints should be accounted for too. They can range from gate allocation to limiting activity on hubs to keep costs low. Air France has prototyped the CASTOR optimization tool to find the best trade-off between operations and revenue.

Machine Learning Application for Automatic Analysis of Aircraft Operations Interruption Reports

Wlamir Olivares Loesch Vianna, Juliano Elias Cardoso Cruz

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A (EMBRAER)


Events such as aircraft failures or operation interruptions are recorded to provide reliability data to authorities, manage operations performance and provide directives for airframers and equipment manufacturers to engage in engineering campaigns for product improvements. In general, these events are reported as free text and must be interpreted and structured for further statistical analyses and relevant information creation. This process is repetitive and time consuming. This work proposes a novel method to automate this process by the usage of text mining and supervised machine learning techniques for several indications, such as: fault class; contingency action performed; and technical accountability reporting the potential responsible for the interruption (e.g. weather). A numerical implementation using historical field data is used to demonstrate the performance and potential benefits and drawbacks of the proposed method.

OnD based Scheduling - Stop scheduling flights, start scheduling networks

Felix Windisch, Zuehal Aydin

Lufthansa Systems

This presentation aims to provide different concepts of how to provide OnD PAX forecasts to schedulers within a scheduling system for enhanced decision support. We outline general prerequisites of OnD decision support features and differentiate possible concepts by their requirements for new business logic (connection building) and historic data (with/without MIDT data). For each concept we discuss strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (associated challenges).

Key objective of presenting at AGIFORS SSP is to initiate a scientific discussion about the presented concepts.

Short-Term Forecasting of Global Passenger Traffic Given Schedule Changes

Ankur Mawandia, Prashanth Sriram


The prediction of changes in route-level traffic in the near future, is necessary for airlines to take the right decisions to minimize losses or maximize capture of revenue opportunity. While the estimation of historical passenger traffic on all the global O&Ds by airline and routing is a problem with relatively mature solutions in the industry, the same cannot be said of forecast passenger traffic.

The key challenges include: responding to changes in the schedule; prediction at a sufficiently granular level allowing for interpretation through the O&Ds flowing over the route; and automating the entire process.

We present a forecasting approach that meets these challenges, through the following key components:

1. A connection building algorithm;

2. A quality of service index (QSI) model;

3. A capacity constrained global error minimization approach to traffic estimation;

4. A time series-based forecasting approach using the QSI score as an exogenous regressor in addition to the passenger time series;

5. A gravity model to arrive at a rough estimate of passenger numbers for hitherto unseen O&Ds and itineraries.

Forecasting passenger aircraft demand over a 20 year horizon

Romain Doucet, Rohan Nanda


Airbus annually produces a 20 year passenger aircraft demand forecast based on market assessments, to provide recommendations for product policy. In this presentation, we give an overview of our methods and show how we abstract away complexity at the most granular level to ensure robustness of the forecast. This includes the choice of region aggregation for estimating traffic growth based on economic factors, network development to simulate fragmentation, and extrapolating trends in aircraft utilization - without attempting to replicate the complexity of daily airline operations & constraints. We then highlight the ways in which optimization models are used to effectively allocate both existing & forecasted aircraft to their appropriate routes/airlines to match the predicted traffic demand. Finally, we give a brief introduction to the system architecture & developments underway to enable scenario analyses and add additional robustness into the process.

Choice-Based Airline Schedule Design and Fleet Assignment

Vikrant Vaze

Dartmouth College

Chiwei Yan, Cynthia Barnhart


We study an integrated airline schedule design and fleet assignment model by simultaneously selecting optional flights and assigning aircraft types to scheduled flights. This is a crucial tactical decision, which greatly impacts airline profitability. In particular, we study a model that incorporates passenger choice behavior in selecting from the available fare products and the revenue management policies. This integration is achieved by some recent work on compact sales-based deterministic linear programming formulations of network revenue management under discrete choice models. However, the model suffers from formidable computational challenges, which prevent it from being adopted in the airline industry despite its potential for considerable profit improvement. To tackle this challenge, we develop a reformulation, decomposition and approximation scheme to maintain the tractability of such model. Computational experiments confirm that, for a full-size instance from a United States airline, the developed approach produces significant profit improvements over state-of-the-research baseline approaches under the same computational budget.

Robust Flight Operation Planning Using Delay Simulation

Mohammad Kouhi, German Gutierrez, Francesc Pons Llopis, Icamaan Bothelo, Rita Barata

Vueling Airlines

In order to assess the robustness of the flight schedule, a Monte-Carlo simulation model has been developed where the propagation of the delay through the network is mathematically modeled. The flight process including Turn Around Time (TAT) as well as Block Time (BT) is simulated along the flight rotations in order to estimate arrival and departure delays. TAT and BT are considered as the random variables extracted from the historical data of the previous years for each departure airport/arrival airport/departure time window/aircraft type configuration. The comparison of the simulation results with the actual value demonstrate the capability of the developed simulator.

Efficient Network Planning using Heuristics and Machine Learning

Deepak Agrawal, Jataveda Dasgupta, Hari Sreekumaran

American Airlines

Network creation and demand forecasting are the key steps to any airline’s schedule planning. Although this problem has been studied for more than three decades, the existing methodologies are either inaccurate or time expensive. In this talk, we will present a network constructor algorithm which can efficiently produce worldwide network while minimizing both Flown not Built (FnB) and Built not Flown (BnF) itineraries. We will also present the drawbacks of traditional QSI models for passenger demand forecasting and propose an ensemble based machine learning model for more accurate prediction.

Predicting Schedule Reliability

Jeff Warren, Benjadol Chakravut, Ramakrishna Thiruveedhi, Sergey Shebalov

Sabre Airline Solutions

Airlines traditionally use profitability forecasting methodologies as a main guiding principle during schedule development. However, schedule reliability is an equally important objective and hence airlines need to be able to predict it ahead of operations. We examine the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of Sabre's simulation tool for evaluating the reliability of a flight schedule. We consider its accuracy as a forecasting tool and its ability to inform business decisions. We also explain on specific examples how this capability can be used for making recommendations on optimal schedule design.

How much to Invest in Block Times?

Interactive Session led by Cristian Ricardo Carrizo Vergara - Latam Airlines

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software