Turnaround times : Learning the hard way

I just got rid of a single A321 that I was operating and turned out there was a big unwelcomed surprise: turn around times.

I was using the aircraft evaluation tool for and airport pair. Both 320 and 734 had similar values. They both showed same amount of “flights per week” and since the comparison yielded similar values, i decided to go with B734 since it had lower capital costs.

Well, once I got rid of the A321, I noticed that I had to adjust the departure times and get rid of 6 legs per week. This is a significant downgrade.

The only thing I see that may play a role on this is the cruise speed of Airbus being 20 kts faster. You would think that this would reflect on the “flights per week” value but it doesn’t.

Was I missing another parameter that I had to consider while I was making a decision?
Why the data, presented to us during the “flights per week” would not reflect this ?


Very simply the Aircraft Evaluation tool pre-dates (and has not been updated for) the Dynamic Turnaround system. Before Dynamic Turnaround (which takes into account Airport Size, Cabin Config, Cabin Service etc etc.) it was a turnaround time with far less variables. The Evaluation tool is likely to still work with those numbers, and likely due to the complexities of the Dynamic turnaround…very unlikely to change

It doesn’t make any sense… It is the same class of service, same service level. Bigger aircraft taking shorter on the legs. I can tell you from real world experience 20 kts in difference in cruise speed will not make that much of a difference.

It’s the cargo. Disable bulk cargo and your turnarounds will be about the same.


The A320 has a fuselage just wide enough to accept ULD’s (Unit Load Devices) – it takes a ULD called the LD3-45. This speeds up baggage loading. The 737 fuselage is too narrow to accept ULD’s. Cargo flown on the 737 can only be bulk loaded, one bag or box at a time: ground crew individually load bags and boxes onto a conveyor belt which brings it into the 737’s hold. It takes more time.

Very interesting… Thank you for this information. Checking the data on manufacturers information proves what you have said…

Thanks again…

I think you can check easily in game by looking at the plane information page in the Payload section.

If there’s a “Lower Deck Cargo” rating, I believe that is the container cargo, so it should turnaround quicker.

You won’t get the exact times, but it should be faster than a plane (like the 733 and 734) where the entire cargo capacity is shown as “Bulk cargo”.

I recently learned the same lesson you did, with almost the exact same planes a few months ago.

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