KLM Royal Dutch Airlines optimizes airline operations with Gurobi

image credit: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Gurobi Optimization, producers of decision intelligence technology, today announced that its solver helps power CrewVision, the tool developed by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to facilitate long-term crew planning for airlines.

CrewVision makes it easy to create optimal five-year crew plans while accounting for critical factors, such as changes in industry regulations, fleets, hiring needs, and training requirements—a significant improvement from their previous outlook of nine months.

With support from Gurobi’s solver, these five-year plans can now be generated within several hours, as opposed to an entire week.

This allows KLM to spend more time strategizing around their long-term vision.

Prior to developing CrewVision, KLM used a legacy system to run analyses, with data spread across multiple sources. A total cycle took a week to process overall. With CrewVision, this is reduced to several hours.

Tim Lamballais Tessensohn, Data Scientist at KLM shares: “The nice thing about Gurobi is that we can easily experiment with different parameters and thresholds.

“We can do a lot of different runs to see what is still acceptable. So even though we have expanded the problem a lot, we can still go in and quickly get results that are quite good.

This has dramatically increased the speed of their decision-making process, while allowing them to run 20-30 planning scenarios per week. Before using Gurobi, they would typically run just one.

In addition to navigating pilot shortages, they’d next like to use CrewVision to tackle other challenges, including shortages of ground personnel, engineers, and maintenance technicians.

Lucille Witmans, KLM’s Senior Account Manager for the partnership with BCG says: “I think we now have a more dynamic response to volatility in the market.

“We can now plan for a range of scenarios, instead of balancing for a single scenario.

Duke Perrucci, CEO of Gurobi Optimization said: “Gurobi is proud to empower KLM with the tools to not only envision but also execute a more dynamic, responsive approach to airline operations.

“This success story is a testament to the power of decision intelligence technology in revolutionizing how airlines operate and plan for the future”.