Low demand scheduling

I am curious to see what people’s thoughts are on scheduling on routes where demand is too low to warrant a daily flight.

You can schedule 4 days a week but that means that 2 of the days must share the same catchment for the passenger allocations. This gives you 3 days for another schedule but this gives you a 2 day bridge no matter what where there are no flights.

I don’t see the point in having just one weekly flight because it will only collect passenger allocations 72hrs before departure. So the other 4 days passengers can not book at all.

What are your thoughts on optimising low frequency schedules?

  1. Pair 2 similar destinations. 1/3/5/7 and 2/4/6. Not the optimal but easiest.

  2. Pair 3 similar destinations. 1/3/6, 2/4/7, 3/5. This is almost the minimum frequency anyone should have.

  3. Do a hubA-low demand airport-hubB thru flight and hopefully capture some O/D between A and B and fill both legs

  4. Design and A-B-C-A triangular flight

In a market that service is hardly available, for example, those tiny islands in the Pacific. It is completely rational to run a 2 or 3 times per week flight. Because the daily demand would not be enough to support a full plane, you will need 2 or 3 days to fill a plane. Most importantly, the lack of available service means that all demand will go to you.

However, I am obessed to make my flight daily under normal circumstances, even long haul over 12 hours each leg

Interesting question here: does the demand sum up over a few days or is it a 24 hr-calculation?

it does not sum up. there is a demand once every day. that demand gets distributed over all available flights. what can not be served is lost.

That's correct, but ... if there is a lower number of offers, it will be distributed to these offers. So having only a few flights per week may help sometimes.

Another problem are staff costs because every station will need at least two employees (three with cargo). Having only two weekly flights to a certain destination makes it hard to even pay their salaries, especially when you use small aircraft. The only viable solution is increasing connections to ensure that the flight you offer satisfies as many travellers’ demands as possible. Most airports would be able to fill 20 seats a day, you just need to fulfil their wishes.