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Flying between the Canary Islands: a crew-and-aircraft optimization problem

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Tuesday 3 July 2012, 10:00
LT6, Management School

Abstract: This talk deals with a routing and scheduling problem that is faced by an airline company that operates in the Canary Islands.  There are 10 airports, with around 180 flights each day in total, and the flight time between any two airports is around 30 minutes. All of the maintenance equipment is based at the airport in Gran Canaria, and therefore each aircraft must go to Gran Canaria after flying for two days.  The crew members, however, live not only in Gran Canaria, but also in Tenerife. Each crew member expects to return to his domicile at the end of each day. There are also other regulations on the activities of the crew members.

The goal is to construct routes and schedules for the aircraft and the crew simultaneously, at minimum cost, while satisfying the above constraints. This problem can be modelled as a 2-depot vehicle routing problem with capacitated vehicles and driver exchanges.  A "branch-and-cut" algorithm has been developed, that is capable of solving real-life instances to proven optimality or near-optimality. The software package is currently being used by the airline company.

Bio: Juan-Jose Salazar-Gonzalez is full professor in the Department of Statistics and Operational Research at the University of La Laguna, Tenerife. He is known internationally for his work in two distinct research areas: optimisation problems arising in transportation and logistics, and methods for statistical disclosure control. He is currently involved in a large FP7-funded project called “Data without Boundaries”. His web address is:

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