Airline crew scheduling


In airline crew scheduling a pilot is assigned a series flights to operate. This series is called a pairing. These pairings need to cover all flights which the airline intends to operate and conform to a set of complex rules and regulations. If these pairings are not designed properly the airline will face high costs associated with having to reposition pilots, pay for overnight stays and per diems away from base. The proposed research aims to improve on current pairing optimization methods. Pairing optimization is a huge combinatorial problem. The crew costs of an airline are the second highest operating cost to an airline next to fuel. For large airlines these costs can reach billions of dollars. Given the magnitude of these costs the ability to improve existing crew pairing software translates into the ability to save airlines millions of dollars in operating expenditures. These savings are the source of a major competitive advantage in the flight operations software market. The importance of the ability to offer major savings to airlines is only magnified in today’s aviation industry, where profit margins are razor thin and competition from low-fare carries is fierce.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Samir Elhedhli




Navtech Inc.




Aerospace and defense


University of Waterloo



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