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JKAU: Eng. Sci., Vol 17 No. 2, pp: 3 - 16 (2006A.D. /1427 A.H.

)




Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft for a Local
Airline
Wail I. Harasani
Aeronautical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, King
Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Abstract. The present work simulates the evaluation and selection of a
fleet of aircraft for an airline located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in an
assumed network that includes both local and international destinations.
This is carried out through a series of phases and subsequent levels of
analysis. At the end of these phases some recommendations are given
for selecting the suitable fleet. The phases are simulated using MS
Excel and the output of the study predicts both the aircraft efficiency
and its contribution to the net profit of the airline. With the given range
and payload a number of candidate aircraft has been chosen for the
study. Finally, it was found from the study that 11 of the EMB145
aircraft would be the best choice for the proposed airline.


1. Introduction

The nature of this paper is in the field of airline fleet planning, a
selection of a fleet of aircraft for a proposed start-up airline in Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia. Aircraft manufacturers usually represent their aircraft to
their customers in the following four categories:
• Aircraft specifications
• System configuration equipment
• Cabin configuration
• In flight entertainment configuration
The Aircraft specifications would include the aircraft dimensions,
performance, weights, and interior. Cabin configuration (i.e., whether
the aircraft has a single, two or three classes) and system configuration
would depend on the client needs. System configuration, could include
the type of engine used, and the in-flight entertainment system in the
3
Wail I. Harasani 4
aircraft are considered as selectable items. The selection would depend
on several factors such as the predicted passenger load factors, the
desired airline image to the flying public and the competition
environment.
Airlines, on the other hand, have their own structure.
Understanding the airline operation and structure is an important step for
better understanding of the airline world and its behaviour with different
aircraft designs, and when to buy, sell, or rent an aircraft. Important
information should be known about the airline to investigate the
suitability of a given aircraft for a given airline. This information should
include such items as the capacity and number of hangars, if they
outsource some of their maintenance, or outsource some tasks or
services, and the number of employees, and their salaries. A given
aircraft would be suitable for a large carrier but not suitable for a small
carrier.
For any maintenance, repair, inspection, or material handling on
the aircraft, the Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) that is supplied
by the manufacturer deals with these issues. The MPD gives guidelines
for Base Maintenance and Line Maintenance for the aircraft in its
operation duration and when it should be carried out. From the
maintenance operation, maintenance labour rate for engines and aircraft
is required. The base maintenance would include all major checks that
need to be carried out in a hanger usually in the base, but the line
maintenance are tasks done after every flight or day for the aircraft.
Ground time or turn round time is an important issue to the airline
industry. It is where aircraft, airline, airport, and air traffic control
clearly interact. Ground time is important for the airline industry because
the lower the ground time the higher the utilization of the aircraft and
this would lower the direct operating costs. Ground time is also
important for the airports. Lower ground time reduces congestion at the
airport. The airports would then handle more travellers.
To make a successful plan, a fleet planner must take this time into
consideration quite early in the planning stage. Therefore, Ground time
is taken into consideration while building the airline fleet plan model. In
real life each aircraft has its ground time, which depends on a number of
elements such as range of flight, is the flight domestic or international,
is the aircraft at the base or not, the capacity of the flight, the design of
the aircraft, and other factors.

Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 5
2. Fleet Planning
Fleet planning is very important for any airline. Fleet planning
determines what type of aircraft the airline should buy, and how many of
them, in order to achieve the airline goals. Fleet planners also get
involved in the negotiation deals with aircraft and engine manufacturers,
most of the decision making would be through fleet planning. So by
understanding basic elements of fleet planning one would essentially
understand the airline needs and operation parameters.
It should be noted that there are other factors that influence the
buying of a new aircraft that do not depend on fleet planning, such as
alliance, people factors and communality
[1]
.
For example Airbus in marketing their Aircraft by claiming that
communality exists between their aircrafts and the advantage of having a
fleet of different type sizes of aircraft from Airbus would:
• Because of the communality that exist, less time is needed in
training pilots from flying one type of aircraft to another.
• Also less time in training maintenance manpower from
maintaining one type of aircraft to another.
• Since the systems are similar and properly use the same tools
and procedures for maintenance or even operation such as
refuelling, or baggage handling, that would have a big effect on
the operational costs.
The only main disadvantage of communality is that if having the
whole fleet of the same type of aircraft, it is difficult to change and the
airline would not be in a good position in the negotiation for a new
aircraft with the manufacturers, while if they have a mix fleet they can
buy one aircraft type or another so that would help them get a better
price of the aircraft needed.
It is important to note that fleet planning is not just aircraft
evaluation, aircraft comparison, route analysis, aircraft acquisition, or
matching supply to demand in isolation, but includes all these elements
simultaneously
[1]
.
A better understanding of fleet planning decision making and the
evaluation of an aircraft in an airline would help construct the flight
model. One of the most difficult decisions in an airline is whether to buy
a new or a used aircraft, and what type, or renew the existing aircraft.

Wail I. Harasani 6
The dilemmas of fleet planning of an airline is that
• The fleet is highly complex
• Decisions must be long term
• Market is volatile
• Networks are heterogeneous
So fleet planning is a compromise and is inevitable as there is no
exact right solution.
Each airline has a different approach towards the replacement of its
aircrafts. There are large airlines which are government supported,
small airlines, or capital rich airlines, all would have a different aircraft
average age, but they all follow the simpler principle of fleet planning.
Fleet planning is an on going process over the life cycle from the
evaluation through disposal and data collection. More details are
available in Ref. [1].
3. Approach
The emphasis will be on the interaction between all of the above-
mentioned elements. Establishing the model would help in the decision
making of the fleet planning.
Modelling remains an important step to gain an understanding of
how the air transport world acts and interacts. It represents the most
challenging task, due to the large number of fields that need to be
covered and their mutual interaction in building up the flight model.
Typically fleet planning evaluation and selection in the airline for a
number of aircraft is broken down into five main steps as shown in Fig. 1
[2]
.
These steps are:
1.The Process of Aircraft Selection. The first set of input data for
this step would be from the airline in the process of selecting an aircraft,
the input data would be airfield data which includes (elevation,
temperature, runway length and surfaces, … etc). The selection is based
on the operation of regional jets from Jeddah to selected destinations in a
network that includes local destinations such as Riyadh, and Dammam,
and international destinations such as Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Istanbul.
Table 1, shows the airfield data for the mentioned cities. Table 2 shows
the aircrafts that have been selected for the study, their engine type and
the associated weights. The second source of information would be the
Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 7
Market Forecast, Table 3, includes assumed data such as growth rates,
frequency, saturation load,… etc.
Airline
i. Aircraft Selection
Daily Pax in each route
ii. Aircraft Performance
weight for each aircraft for each
flight
iii. Cost Efficiency
trip cost
iv. Traffic Allocation and
Scheduling
v. Resultsand
Recommendation
trip cost, revenue in the network
* Airfield Data
* Marketing forecast

Fig. 1. Typical practical steps in fleet planning.

Table 1. Airfield data.
Airport Elevation Runway length Avg. Temp
(+IATA ) ft ft C
Jeddah (JED) 48 12491 25
Riyadh (RUH) 2049 13829 22
Dammam (DMM) 72 13165 16
Dubai (DXB) 34 13143 26
Cairo (CAI) 382 13127 21
Beirut (BEY) 85 12545 19
Istanbul (IST) 163 9813 17

Table 2. Aircraft types
[3]
.
Aircraft Aircraft Engine OWM MFW MTOW
Manufacturee Type Type lb lb lb
Embraer EMB145(LR) AE3007A1 26586 11435 48500
Bombardier CRJ-700E CF34-8C1 43500 19450 75000
Embraer EMB170 CF34-8E 46165 20887 79344
Avro (BAe) Avo RJ85 LF 507 53700 22750 97000
Boeing B717-200 BR715-30 68500 29500 121000
Airbus A318-200 CFM56-5 84600 42080 145500
Note: They all have an Auxilary Power Unit.
OWM: Operating Weight Empty
MFW: Max. Fuel Weight
MTOW: Max. Takeoff Weight

Wail I. Harasani 8
The last set of information needed in this process is domestic,
regional, and international network distances. After making an analysis
the output of this step would be the daily passenger profile for every
sector in the long and short term and a payload range plot. The candidate
aircrafts would then be determined in this step.
2. Detailed Aircraft Performance. In the previous step the
candidate aircraft has been identified. Therefore, the performance of
each aircraft can be known, the airfield and en-route capabilities of these
aircrafts will be examined. After setting up some ground rules such as
time for taxi-in, time for taxi-out, time for start-up, the reserve fuel, the
assumed alternative airport…etc all for domestic and international
routes, the output would be a weight breakdown and passenger payload
in the network for each nominee aircraft and that by using Roskam
books
[4, 5]
. That would give an indication of how many passengers a
given aircraft can take.

Table 3. Market forecast.
Sector IATA Code Ann. Pax Growth Frequency Staturation Yield
From To Each way p.a. (%) Load % $/nm
JED - RUH 24000 5 2D 85 0.25
JED - CAI 36000 5 3D 85 0.25
JED - BEY 8000 10 D 85 0.25
JED - DXB 24000 10 D 85 0.25
JED - IST 42000 10 2D 75 0.25
JED - DMM 16000 10 3D 80 0.25
RUH - CAI 12000 10 2D 86 0.25
RUH - BEY 8000 10 2W 86 0.25
RUH - DXB 15000 5 2W 87 0.25
RUH - IDT 11000 10 2W 85 0.25
p.a.: per annum
D: daliy flights
W: weekly flights
Ann. Pax: Number of passengers yearly each way

3. Cost Efficiency. This step will indicate the economic suitability
for each aircraft on a typical stage length or cost per trip. In this step
some assumptions must be made to progress the economic analysis.
Examples of these assumptions would be fuel cost, cost of maintenance,
annual insurance rate, annual salaries paid, .... etc, as shown in Table 4.
The specific fuel consumption was given as specified by the
manufacturers. The dollar year was assumed to be 2006. The engine
maintenance labour rate used is $12 per man hours, and the fuel price is
assumed to be $ 1.4 per US Gallon. Direct Operating Cost (DOC)
calculations were based on methods mentioned in Ref. [5]

. DOC is an
Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 9
area where it is very tricky to get a third party reliability data source and
airlines are very reluctant to provide data on their cost per stage length.

Table 4: Assumed Parameters.
Parameter Value
Annual salary paid for one pilot [$/year] 100000
Annual salary paid for for one co-pilot [$/year] 80000
Cost of maintenance materials for airplane [$/n.m] 404
Cost of maintenance materials for engine [$/n.m] 217
Annual hull insurance rate [$/$/year] 0.015
Maintenance manhours per flight hours [hrs/hr] 5.86
Number of flight hours / year 750
Fuel density FD [lbs/gallon] 8
Fuel price FP [$/gallon] 1.4
L / D 15
engine maintenace labor rate [$/hr] 12


The output would be a cost per trip per aircraft on the given
network.

DOC = DOCfly + DOCmaint + DOCdepr + DOClnr + DOCfin (1)
Where:
DOCfly is the direct operating cost of flying in $/n.m.
DOCmaint is the direct operating cost of maintenance in
$/n.m.
DOCdepr is the dirct operating cost of depreciation in $/n.m.
DOClnr is the direct operating cost of landing fees,
navigation fees and taxes in $/n.m.
DOCfin is the direct operating cost of finance in $/n.m.
n.m. nautical miles
The DOCfly is given by:
DOCfly = Ccrew + Cpol + Cins (2)
Where:
Ccrew is crew cost given by:
Ccrew = SUM [ ( n
cj
) { ( 1+ K
j
) / V
bl
} ( SAL
j
/ AH
j
) + ( TEF
j
/ V
bl
) ] (3)
Wail I. Harasani 10
nc
j
is the number of crew member of each type (i.e., captain,
and co- pilot)
V
bl
is the airplane block speed in n.m/hr.
SAL
j
is the annual salary paid to crew members of each type
AH
j
is the number of flight hours per year of each type
TEF
j
is the travel expense factor
K
j
factor which accounts for items such as vacation pay, cost
of training

Cpol is the fuel and oil cost per nautical mile given by:
Cpol = 1.05 ( Wf / R ) ( FP / FD ) (4)
Wf is the fuel weight in lb
R range in n.m
FP is the price of fuel in $ / gallon
FD is the fuel density in lbs / gallon

Cins is the airframe insurance cost in $/n.m given by
Cins = ( fins ) ( AMP ) / { ( Uann ) ( V
bl
) } (5)
fins is the annual hull insurance rate in $/$/year
AMP is the airplane market price
Uann is the annual hour utilization

The DOCmaint is given by:
DOCmaint = Clab/ap + Clap/eng + Cmat/ap + Cmat/eng + Camb (6)
Where:
Clab/ap is the labor cost of airframe and systems in $/n.m.
Clab/ap = 1.03 (MHRa) ( R / V
bl
) (7)
MHRa is the number of airframe and systems maintenance
hours needed per block hours.
Clap/eng is the labor cost of engines in $/n.m.
Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 11
Clap/eng = 1.03 (1.3) Ne (MHRe) (R / V
bl
) (8)
Ne is number of engines.
MHRe is the number of engines maintenance hours needed per
block hours.
Cmat/ap is the cost of maintenance materials for the airframe and
systems $/n.m.
Cmat/eng is the cost of maintenance materials for the
engines $/n.m
Camb is the applied maintenance burden in $/n.m.

The DOCdepr is given by:
DOCdepr = Cdap + Cdeng + Cdav + Cdapsp + Cdengsp (9)
Where:
Cdap is the cost of airplane depreciation without engines in
$/n.m.
Cdeng is the cost of engine depreciation in $/n.m.
Cdav is the cost of depreciation of avionics systems in $/n.m.
Cdapsp is the cost of the depreciation of airplane spare part in
$/n.m.
Cdengsp is the cost of the depreciation of engine spare part in
$/n.m.

The DOClnr is given by:
DOClnr = Clf + C nf + Crf (10)
Where:
Clf is the direct operating cost due to landing fees in ($/n.m)
are calculated by:
Clf = ( Caplf ) / { ( V
bl
) ( t ) } (11)
Where:
Caplf is the landing fees per landing given by:
Caplf = 0.002Wto $/lbs (12)
Wail I. Harasani 12

Wto is the airplane takeoff weight in lbs
Cnf the navigation fees in $/n.m
Cnf = ( Capnf ) / { ( V
bl
) ( t ) } (13)
Where:
Capnf is the navigation fees charged per airplane per flight
Crt is the direct cost of registry taxies in ($/n.m) are
calculated by
Crt = ( frt ) DOC (14)
Where frt is a factor suggested from Ref. [5].
Frt = 0.001 + ( 10
-8
) Wto (15)
Where:
Wto takeoff weight in lbs.
The DOCfin is given by:
DOCfin= 0.07 DOC (16)
In order to calculate the cost per aircraft per trip and the cost per
seat mile, it is calculated as follows:
Cost per aircraft per trip = DOC [$/n.m] × Distance [n.m] (17)
Cost per seat mile = DOC [$/n.m] ÷ Number of seats (18)
More details are available in Ref. [4, 5].
4. Traffic Allocation and Scheduling. This step will identify the
quantity of each aircraft required and schedule the flights. This would
require some information such as ground time for each aircraft,
refuelling time and other information or rules supplied by the
commercial management department, such as, daily frequencies for a
given aircraft on each route, international flight linked to domestic
flights, and other ground rules such as aircraft limited to operating
between 06:00 and 23:00 or frequency for international routes should be
either 3 times a week or once a day. The output of this step is a flight
schedule.
5. Results and Recommendation. Which should identify the
preferred fleet choice by comparing trip costs, revenue, operating costs,
results, or total number of passengers, … etc with time.
Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 13

4. Assumptions
In order to get the cost information about the airline, some relevant
economic and operational data were either assumed or collected with the
help of Saudi Arabian Airline.
In creating the model, some ground rules are assumed:
1.All maintenance checks are performed in the base airport.
2.There is at all times, at least one aircraft should be at stand by for
emergency circumstances
3.The aircraft should undertake an inspection after each flight.
4.General ground rules have been assumed for time for different
statuses such as passengers embark, refuelling, passengers disembark,
repair, inspection …etc.

5. Results
An Excel programme created by the author was used to generate
data for each aircraft type, by running the programme for 1, and 5 years,
generating DOC, net contribution to profit for each sector, and total
contribution to profit for the entire fleet after 5 years. This provides a
visualization of the impact of each aircraft type. The output information
can be used by a Project Manager, or a Fleet Planner, to decide on which
aircraft would provide the best benefit or best results during operation in
time for the money spent in case of the fleet planner.
The study also shows that for the given annual passenger traffic
and the growth rate the airline would need 11 aircraft from the EMB145,
or 8 aircraft from the CRJ-700, or 8 aircraft from the EMB170, or 6
aircraft from the AvoR85, or 5 aircraft from the B717, or 5 from the
A318 aircraft.
Figure 2 shows the efficiency of each aircraft at a given sector.
Different aircraft types are not only compared with their trip costs but
also with their seat mile costs, the lower the two parameters for the
given aircraft the better, the aircraft is said to be more efficient if both
parameters are low.
Wail I. Harasani 14
Aircraft Efficiency
(Stage Airport JED-RUH)
EMB145(LR)
EMB170
Avo RJ85
B717-200
A318-200
CRJ-700E
0.08
0.095
0.11
0.125
0.14
0.155
0.17
0.185
4000 4500 5000 5500 6000 6500 7000
Aircraft Trip Cost [$]
S
e
a
t

M
i
l
e

C
o
s
t

[
$
]
More efficient

Fig. 2. Aircraft efficiency.
Figure 3 summarizes the study made for the 5 year time line for
each aircraft operation on the assumed network. It shows that the first
year would demonstrate a loss for all aircraft types. That would be
predictable since the cost is high at the first year, when a new aircraft is
introduced to an airline, but then costs would come down and stabilize at
a given rate, then after 15 to 20 years cost would go up due to aging.
After 5 years cost is in its low curve and the growth factor is taken
into account, so the contribution to profit would show revenue.
Summary of the Results
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
80
100
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M
B
1
4
5
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R
)
C
R
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7
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M
B
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o
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8
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7
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i
t

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i
l
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o
n

$
year 1
year 5

Fig. 3. Study results.
5. Conclusion
The results predict the aircrafts efficiencies, and the total contri-
bution to profit. The following can be concluded from Fig. 2:
• While EMB145 aircraft has the highest seat mile cost, it has the
lowest trip cost.
Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 15
• The B717 has the lowest seat mile cost, but a high trip cost.
• The A318 has the highest trip cost but a low seat mile cost.
• An optimal efficiency aircraft would be that has a low seat mile
cost and a low trip cost per sector.
From the results of the study in Figure 3 it would be concluded that:
1.The best choice for the given network that has the highest
contribution to profit would be 11 of the EMB145 aircraft.
2.The worst choice for the given network would be the B717, since
it has the lowest contribution to profit.
3.The EMB170 would be an excellent choice for potential market
expansion, since the EMB170 is the 2nd best choice.
4.In terms of operational flexibility, the EMB170 would be able to
fly additional markets.

References
[1] Paul Clark, “Buying the Big Jets, Fleet Planning for Airlines”, Aldershot: Asqate (2001).
[2] John Snow, Fleet Planning Workshop June, Cranfield University (2004).
[3] Taylor, J.W.R.; “Jane’s All the World Aircraft”, Jane’s Publishing Company (2004-2005).
[4] Roskam, J., “ Aircraft Design”, Part I, Roskam Aviation and Engineering Corporation,
Ottawa, Kansas, U.S.A. (1990).
[5] Roskam, J., “ Aircraft Design” Part VII Airplane cost estimate , Roskam Aviation and
Engineering Corporation, Ottawa, Kansas, U.S.A. (1990).


















Wail I. Harasani 16
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maintenance labour rate for engines and aircraft is required. or material handling on the aircraft. airport. is the aircraft at the base or not. the capacity of the flight. It is where aircraft. To make a successful plan. This information should include such items as the capacity and number of hangars. The base maintenance would include all major checks that need to be carried out in a hanger usually in the base.Wail I. From the maintenance operation. the Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) that is supplied by the manufacturer deals with these issues. A given aircraft would be suitable for a large carrier but not suitable for a small carrier. and their salaries. airline. In real life each aircraft has its ground time. on the other hand. Ground time or turn round time is an important issue to the airline industry. Ground time is also important for the airports. is the flight domestic or international. the design of the aircraft. Therefore. sell. repair. The selection would depend on several factors such as the predicted passenger load factors. The airports would then handle more travellers. For any maintenance. Ground time is taken into consideration while building the airline fleet plan model. but the line maintenance are tasks done after every flight or day for the aircraft. and air traffic control clearly interact. . inspection. Harasani 4 aircraft are considered as selectable items. which depends on a number of elements such as range of flight. a fleet planner must take this time into consideration quite early in the planning stage. and the number of employees. the desired airline image to the flying public and the competition environment. The MPD gives guidelines for Base Maintenance and Line Maintenance for the aircraft in its operation duration and when it should be carried out. Ground time is important for the airline industry because the lower the ground time the higher the utilization of the aircraft and this would lower the direct operating costs. if they outsource some of their maintenance. Lower ground time reduces congestion at the airport. and when to buy. Important information should be known about the airline to investigate the suitability of a given aircraft for a given airline. Understanding the airline operation and structure is an important step for better understanding of the airline world and its behaviour with different aircraft designs. have their own structure. and other factors. Airlines. or rent an aircraft. or outsource some tasks or services.

less time is needed in training pilots from flying one type of aircraft to another. and how many of them.5 Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 2. that would have a big effect on the operational costs. such as alliance. It should be noted that there are other factors that influence the buying of a new aircraft that do not depend on fleet planning. or baggage handling. and what type. • Since the systems are similar and properly use the same tools and procedures for maintenance or even operation such as refuelling. it is difficult to change and the airline would not be in a good position in the negotiation for a new aircraft with the manufacturers. but includes all these elements simultaneously [1]. aircraft comparison. • Also less time in training maintenance manpower from maintaining one type of aircraft to another. while if they have a mix fleet they can buy one aircraft type or another so that would help them get a better price of the aircraft needed. The only main disadvantage of communality is that if having the whole fleet of the same type of aircraft. aircraft acquisition. or matching supply to demand in isolation. For example Airbus in marketing their Aircraft by claiming that communality exists between their aircrafts and the advantage of having a fleet of different type sizes of aircraft from Airbus would: • Because of the communality that exist. Fleet planning determines what type of aircraft the airline should buy. route analysis. in order to achieve the airline goals. One of the most difficult decisions in an airline is whether to buy a new or a used aircraft. It is important to note that fleet planning is not just aircraft evaluation. So by understanding basic elements of fleet planning one would essentially understand the airline needs and operation parameters. people factors and communality [1]. most of the decision making would be through fleet planning. Fleet Planning Fleet planning is very important for any airline. A better understanding of fleet planning decision making and the evaluation of an aircraft in an airline would help construct the flight model. . or renew the existing aircraft. Fleet planners also get involved in the negotiation deals with aircraft and engine manufacturers.

their engine type and the associated weights. Modelling remains an important step to gain an understanding of how the air transport world acts and interacts. 3. There are large airlines which are government supported. Cairo and Istanbul. and international destinations such as Beirut. The first set of input data for this step would be from the airline in the process of selecting an aircraft. The second source of information would be the . small airlines. Table 1. Dubai.Wail I. but they all follow the simpler principle of fleet planning. Establishing the model would help in the decision making of the fleet planning. or capital rich airlines. Harasani 6 The dilemmas of fleet planning of an airline is that • The fleet is highly complex • Decisions must be long term • Market is volatile • Networks are heterogeneous So fleet planning is a compromise and is inevitable as there is no exact right solution. It represents the most challenging task. More details are available in Ref. runway length and surfaces. 1[2]. all would have a different aircraft average age. and Dammam. temperature. The selection is based on the operation of regional jets from Jeddah to selected destinations in a network that includes local destinations such as Riyadh. Table 2 shows the aircrafts that have been selected for the study.The Process of Aircraft Selection. Approach The emphasis will be on the interaction between all of the abovementioned elements. Each airline has a different approach towards the replacement of its aircrafts. the input data would be airfield data which includes (elevation. These steps are: 1. Fleet planning is an on going process over the life cycle from the evaluation through disposal and data collection. … etc). [1]. shows the airfield data for the mentioned cities. due to the large number of fields that need to be covered and their mutual interaction in building up the flight model. Typically fleet planning evaluation and selection in the airline for a number of aircraft is broken down into five main steps as shown in Fig.

Table 3. OWM: Operating Weight Empty MFW: Max. Aircraft Manufacturee Embraer Bombardier Embraer Avro (BAe) Boeing Airbus Aircraft Type EMB145(LR) CRJ-700E EMB170 Avo RJ85 B717-200 A318-200 Engine Type AE3007A1 CF34-8C1 CF34-8E LF 507 BR715-30 CFM56-5 OWM lb 26586 43500 46165 53700 68500 84600 MFW lb 11435 19450 20887 22750 29500 42080 MTOW lb 48500 75000 79344 97000 121000 145500 Note: They all have an Auxilary Power Unit.7 Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… Market Forecast. Typical practical steps in fleet planning. Aircraft types [3] . revenue in the network Fig. Temp C 25 22 16 26 21 19 17 Table 2. Takeoff Weight . Airline i. Results and Recommendation trip cost. includes assumed data such as growth rates.… etc. Airfield data. saturation load. Table 1. frequency. Aircraft Performance weight for each aircraft for each flight iii. Traffic Allocation and Scheduling v. Airport (+IATA ) Jeddah (JED) Riyadh (RUH) Dammam (DMM) Dubai (DXB) Cairo (CAI) Beirut (BEY) Istanbul (IST) Elevation ft 48 2049 72 34 382 85 163 Runway length ft 12491 13829 13165 13143 13127 12545 9813 Avg. Aircraft Selection Daily Pax in each route * Airfield Data * Marketing forecast ii. 1. Cost Efficiency trip cost iv. Fuel Weight MTOW: Max.

.25 0. the output would be a weight breakdown and passenger payload in the network for each nominee aircraft and that by using Roskam books[4. The engine maintenance labour rate used is $12 per man hours. annual salaries paid. After making an analysis the output of this step would be the daily passenger profile for every sector in the long and short term and a payload range plot..25 0.4 per US Gallon. annual insurance rate. 2. Market forecast. Harasani 8 The last set of information needed in this process is domestic. time for start-up.25 0.25 0.DXB RUH . Therefore.DXB JED .a.BEY RUH . That would give an indication of how many passengers a given aircraft can take. Sector IATA Code From To JED . Table 3. (%) 5 5 10 10 10 10 10 10 5 10 Frequency Staturation Load % 2D 85 3D 85 D 85 D 85 2D 75 3D 80 2D 86 2W 86 2W 87 2W 85 Yield $/nm 0.: per annum D: daliy flights W: weekly flights Ann..25 0. In the previous step the candidate aircraft has been identified. Pax: Number of passengers yearly each way 3. etc. The specific fuel consumption was given as specified by the manufacturers. the assumed alternative airport…etc all for domestic and international routes.IST JED .DMM RUH . 5]. Direct Operating Cost (DOC) calculations were based on methods mentioned in Ref. The candidate aircrafts would then be determined in this step. Pax Each way 24000 36000 8000 24000 42000 16000 12000 8000 15000 11000 Growth p.CAI JED . time for taxi-out. DOC is an .25 0. Detailed Aircraft Performance. the performance of each aircraft can be known. cost of maintenance.25 0. The dollar year was assumed to be 2006.25 p. [5] . the reserve fuel. In this step some assumptions must be made to progress the economic analysis. After setting up some ground rules such as time for taxi-in. the airfield and en-route capabilities of these aircrafts will be examined. as shown in Table 4. regional.25 0. and international network distances. This step will indicate the economic suitability for each aircraft on a typical stage length or cost per trip.CAI RUH .BEY JED .25 0.Wail I. Cost Efficiency.IDT Ann.a.RUH JED . Examples of these assumptions would be fuel cost. and the fuel price is assumed to be $ 1..

m. Table 4: Assumed Parameters.m. is the direct operating cost of finance in $/n.m] Cost of maintenance materials for engine [$/n.m.m.4 15 12 The output would be a cost per trip per aircraft on the given network. DOCfin n.86 750 8 1.015 5. DOCdepr is the dirct operating cost of depreciation in $/n. DOC = DOCfly + DOCmaint + DOCdepr + DOClnr + DOCfin Where: DOCfly is the direct operating cost of flying in $/n. DOCmaint is the direct operating cost of maintenance in $/n.m.m] Annual hull insurance rate [$/$/year] Maintenance manhours per flight hours [hrs/hr] Number of flight hours / year Fuel density FD [lbs/gallon] Fuel price FP [$/gallon] L/D engine maintenace labor rate [$/hr] Value 100000 80000 404 217 0.m. nautical miles (2) (1) The DOCfly is given by: DOCfly = Ccrew + Cpol + Cins Where: Ccrew is crew cost given by: Ccrew = SUM [ ( ncj ) { ( 1+ Kj ) / Vbl } ( SALj / AHj ) + ( TEFj / Vbl ) ] (3) . Parameter Annual salary paid for one pilot [$/year] Annual salary paid for for one co-pilot [$/year] Cost of maintenance materials for airplane [$/n. navigation fees and taxes in $/n.9 Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… area where it is very tricky to get a third party reliability data source and airlines are very reluctant to provide data on their cost per stage length. DOClnr is the direct operating cost of landing fees.

. cost Cpol is the fuel and oil cost per nautical mile given by: Cpol = 1.m given by Cins = ( fins ) ( AMP ) / { ( Uann ) ( Vbl ) } fins AMP Uann is the annual hull insurance rate in $/$/year is the airplane market price is the annual hour utilization (5) The DOCmaint is given by: DOCmaint = Clab/ap + Clap/eng + Cmat/ap + Cmat/eng + Camb Where: Clab/ap MHRa Clap/eng is the labor cost of airframe and systems in $/n. Harasani 10 ncj Vbl SALj AHj TEFj Kj of training is the number of crew member of each type (i.e. and co. is the labor cost of engines in $/n.m. is the annual salary paid to crew members of each type is the number of flight hours per year of each type is the travel expense factor factor which accounts for items such as vacation pay.m (4) Cins is the airframe insurance cost in $/n.m.pilot) is the airplane block speed in n.m/hr. Clab/ap = 1.05 ( Wf / R ) ( FP / FD ) Wf FP FD is the fuel weight in lb is the price of fuel in $ / gallon is the fuel density in lbs / gallon R range in n. captain.03 (MHRa) ( R / Vbl ) (6) .Wail I. (7) is the number of airframe and systems maintenance hours needed per block hours.

002Wto $/lbs (12) (11) (10) . The DOClnr is given by: DOClnr = Clf + C nf + Crf Where: Clf is the direct operating cost due to landing fees in ($/n.m Camb is the cost of maintenance materials for the is the applied maintenance burden in $/n.m. Cdengsp is the cost of the depreciation of engine spare part in $/n.03 (1. Cdeng Cdav is the cost of airplane depreciation without engines in is the cost of engine depreciation in $/n.m) are calculated by: Clf = ( Caplf ) / { ( Vbl ) ( t ) } Where: Caplf is the landing fees per landing given by: Caplf = 0.m. (9) Cdapsp is the cost of the depreciation of airplane spare part in $/n. (8) is the number of engines maintenance hours needed per block hours.m. Cmat/eng engines $/n. is the cost of depreciation of avionics systems in $/n.m.m.3) Ne (MHRe) (R / Vbl ) Ne MHRe is number of engines.m. The DOCdepr is given by: DOCdepr = Cdap + Cdeng + Cdav + Cdapsp + Cdengsp Where: Cdap $/n. Cmat/ap is the cost of maintenance materials for the airframe and systems $/n.11 Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… Clap/eng = 1.m.

Harasani 12 Wto is the airplane takeoff weight in lbs Cnf the navigation fees in $/n.m Cnf = ( Capnf ) / { ( Vbl ) ( t ) } Where: Capnf is the navigation fees charged per airplane per flight Crt is the direct cost of registry taxies in ($/n. 5]. [4. Traffic Allocation and Scheduling. operating costs. (17) (18) (15) (14) (13) . daily frequencies for a given aircraft on each route. it is calculated as follows: Cost per aircraft per trip = DOC [$/n. Frt = 0. 5. revenue. Results and Recommendation. or total number of passengers. This would require some information such as ground time for each aircraft. … etc with time.m] ÷ Number of seats More details are available in Ref.001 + ( 10-8 ) Wto Where: Wto takeoff weight in lbs.m] Cost per seat mile = DOC [$/n. [5].07 DOC (16) In order to calculate the cost per aircraft per trip and the cost per seat mile. international flight linked to domestic flights. such as. The output of this step is a flight schedule. The DOCfin is given by: DOCfin= 0. and other ground rules such as aircraft limited to operating between 06:00 and 23:00 or frequency for international routes should be either 3 times a week or once a day. refuelling time and other information or rules supplied by the commercial management department.m) are calculated by Crt = ( frt ) DOC Where frt is a factor suggested from Ref. results. 4.Wail I.m] × Distance [n. This step will identify the quantity of each aircraft required and schedule the flights. Which should identify the preferred fleet choice by comparing trip costs.

Figure 2 shows the efficiency of each aircraft at a given sector. the aircraft is said to be more efficient if both parameters are low.General ground rules have been assumed for time for different statuses such as passengers embark. and total contribution to profit for the entire fleet after 5 years. refuelling. or 6 aircraft from the AvoR85. by running the programme for 1. or 8 aircraft from the CRJ-700.The aircraft should undertake an inspection after each flight. or a Fleet Planner. at least one aircraft should be at stand by for emergency circumstances 3.13 Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… 4.There is at all times. repair. or 8 aircraft from the EMB170. The output information can be used by a Project Manager. generating DOC. inspection …etc. 4. This provides a visualization of the impact of each aircraft type. some relevant economic and operational data were either assumed or collected with the help of Saudi Arabian Airline. 2. The study also shows that for the given annual passenger traffic and the growth rate the airline would need 11 aircraft from the EMB145. or 5 from the A318 aircraft. Assumptions In order to get the cost information about the airline. 5. net contribution to profit for each sector. Results An Excel programme created by the author was used to generate data for each aircraft type. some ground rules are assumed: 1. In creating the model. the lower the two parameters for the given aircraft the better. . Different aircraft types are not only compared with their trip costs but also with their seat mile costs. or 5 aircraft from the B717. and 5 years. to decide on which aircraft would provide the best benefit or best results during operation in time for the money spent in case of the fleet planner.All maintenance checks are performed in the base airport. passengers disembark.

The following can be concluded from Fig.11 0. It shows that the first year would demonstrate a loss for all aircraft types.185 0.125 0. 5. Summary of the Results 100 year 1 year 5 80 Contribution to profit in Million $ 60 40 20 0 J70 0E LR ) J8 5 B1 45 ( C A EM -40 Fig.095 0.17 14 EMB145(LR) Seat Mile Cost [$] 0. After 5 years cost is in its low curve and the growth factor is taken into account.155 0. Figure 3 summarizes the study made for the 5 year time line for each aircraft operation on the assumed network. it has the lowest trip cost. and the total contribution to profit.14 0.Wail I. so the contribution to profit would show revenue. Study results. A -20 B7 17 - EM vo R 31 820 0 B1 70 R 20 0 . That would be predictable since the cost is high at the first year. then after 15 to 20 years cost would go up due to aging. when a new aircraft is introduced to an airline. Conclusion The results predict the aircrafts efficiencies. Aircraft efficiency.08 4000 CRJ-700E EMB170 Avo RJ85 More efficient A318-200 B717-200 4500 5000 5500 6000 6500 7000 Aircraft Trip Cost [$] Fig. but then costs would come down and stabilize at a given rate. 2. Harasani Aircraft Efficiency (Stage Airport JED-RUH) 0. 2: • While EMB145 aircraft has the highest seat mile cost. 3.

Part I. Ottawa. Roskam Aviation and Engineering Corporation.The best choice for the given network that has the highest contribution to profit would be 11 of the EMB145 aircraft. (1990). [5] Roskam.. U. U.S. but a high trip cost. Fleet Planning for Airlines”. Aldershot: Asqate (2001). From the results of the study in Figure 3 it would be concluded that: 1. since it has the lowest contribution to profit. the EMB170 would be able to fly additional markets.The worst choice for the given network would be the B717.A. (1990). References [1] Paul Clark. Kansas. 3. Jane’s Publishing Company (2004-2005).. Roskam Aviation and Engineering Corporation. • The A318 has the highest trip cost but a low seat mile cost. [4] Roskam. Kansas.In terms of operational flexibility. “ Aircraft Design”.A. J. “ Aircraft Design” Part VII Airplane cost estimate . • An optimal efficiency aircraft would be that has a low seat mile cost and a low trip cost per sector..R. Fleet Planning Workshop June. [2] John Snow. J. “Buying the Big Jets. Ottawa. since the EMB170 is the 2nd best choice.The EMB170 would be an excellent choice for potential market expansion. “Jane’s All the World Aircraft”. 2.S. Cranfield University (2004).15 Evaluation and Selection of a Fleet of Aircraft… • The B717 has the lowest seat mile cost.W. J. 4. [3] Taylor. .

.Wail I. . . Harasani 16 – – . . . EMB 145 .