One of the lesser talked about business divisions of Kronos Inc. is Montreal, Canada–based AD OPT, a provider of crew planning optimization solutions for the airline industry, which Kronos acquired in 2004. The company has been in this space for more than 25 years and its core focus is to deliver customized solutions for the tricky task of flight crew planning and scheduling for airlines whose aim is to increase operational efficiency.
Most recently, transavia.com, a Netherlands-based airline with services to leisure destinations as an independent part of the Air France-KLM group, selected the Altitude Rostering Footprint Generator application from Kronos AD OPT. The solution is expected to more fairly distribute work based on pre-defined equalization criteria and creating optimal monthly schedules for cockpit crew members.
Built on AD OPT’s workforce optimization technology, the solution is expected to help transavia.com balance competing crew scheduling requirements, including quality-of-life considerations, company rules, union regulations, and cost constraints. In addition, Altitude Rostering provides bidding intelligence, which offers valuable insights on days that are requested and likely to be assigned to other crew members.
Crew Planning Optimization Problem
The goal of crew planning optimization is to provide the best solution at the lowest cost to the airline. In other words, airlines would like to increase their productivity while minimizing crew costs and improving, as much as possible, crew quality of life. In order to plan their monthly schedules, airlines must consider operational limits, including but not limited to the following: country requirements, airport regulations, union rules, and collective agreements. This process was historically completed manually by a team of crew planners. Often they simply tired to make all flights fit with the number of employees available.
In contrast, AD OPT’s crew planning optimization technology takes all limits and crew preferences into account to automatically build cost-efficient pairings, and then assign these pairings in an efficient manner to the crew members (both cabin and cockpit). Kronos AD OPT typically competes for airline crew planning and scheduling business against the Jeppesen division of Boeing, Sabre, andr Lufthansa Technical Systems (and numerous smaller competitors).
AD OPT’s addressable market is the major airlines of the world. It currently counts United Airlines and USAir as clients, as well as FedEx and UPS (though these are not airlines, they still have massive fleets of aircraft and crews that require rostering applications to manage). AD OPT also has easyJet in the UK, Emirates Airlines in Dubai, Qantas Airlines in Australia, South African Airlines, Air Transat in Canada, and others listed here.