When most individuals think of flying, they think of traveling to the airport and boarding a plane, but few people think about the airline’s operations. What exactly do airline operations imply? In a nutshell, these are the procedures for getting the aircraft on the day of the operation.
So, for example, scheduling, ticketing, payment systems, and the loyalty program are not included. Although, of course, elements of these systems rely on operational systems for data. It does, however, encompass things like check-in, bag drop, and cargo handling; loading the plane with cargo, luggage, fuel, and food; boarding and disembarking the flight; and, of course, flying itself.
Flight, ground, and network are the three primary operational departments. There are several more departments included in airline operations, such as engineering and scheduling and marketing and sales. Still, the three principal departments mentioned above will be discussed in this article.
One of the most visible is flight operations. The technical crew, flight crew, and cabin staff are all part of this department. The latter people may appear to be serving you food and drink.
Still, their real job is to oversee this sometimes uncomfortable and ragtag collection of family, companions, and strangers so that they can hurtle through the sky at 900km/h while keeping the aircraft and everyone on board safe and happy for a few hours.
Although training varies by airline, airline staff is often well-versed in security and safety procedures to ensure the best possible reaction in an emergency. The fundamental purpose of emergency procedures instruction is to guarantee that crew members have the skills to deal with any emergency or unexpected scenario that may arise on board.
They are trained how to prevent mishaps and predict potential risks throughout training. As a result, the cabin crew is critical to the smooth operation of a flight.
This is the other department of the airline with which you will interact. Not only are they in charge of assisting you with boarding, printing your luggage tags at the kiosk, and checking your boarding card as you enter the gate, but they’re also in charge of scanning your travel documents as you enter the gate.
These are the individuals who help the plane as it approaches the gate. Engineers, tug drivers who handle and process your luggage, freight, pets, and anything else, and fuel company refuellers.
The flight component that most passengers don’t see and aren’t even aware of is network operations. It has the highest chance of affecting your trip plans. The operational control center is run by network operations (OCC). This system comprises several different components that allow it to manage the airline’s whole flight network.
This back-office department oversees the control function and crew scheduling, which ensures that the right amount of cabin crew, with the right qualifications, are on the right flight at the right time.
The OCC mentioned above is in charge of ensuring that all of the equipment is in the right spot at the right time, working closely with several internal departments such as meteorologists, flight planning (which creates flight plans), flight dispatch (which performs a function known as load control), slot controllers, and a special flight disruption team (which re-accommodates travelers onto new planes if there is a disruption) such as a cancellation or a missed flight.
There’s a slew of other functions in each of the divisions of airline operations that this article’s only scratched the surface of. Hopefully, you can see how complicated the planning and logistics of even a single flight full of travelers can be.