Affiliations: German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Air Transportation Systems, Hamburg, Germany
Note:  Corresponding author: Michael Rosskopf, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Air Transportation Systems, Blohmstrasse 18, 21079 Hamburg, Germany. Tel.: +49 531 295 3841; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: This study investigates the impact of employing single-aisle aircraft with reduced design range on airline operations and the dynamics of fleet composition. While previous research has mostly evaluated such concepts at a single aircraft level, the fleet-level implications remain less clear. Here, a linear programming model for mid- to long-term airline fleet planning optimizes fleet composition, fleet development, and fleet deployment within a 10-year planning horizon for a given set of candidate aircraft. The model takes into account network development, operational and cost data, existing fleet, and the availability of aircraft and capital. This study uses data for a major European network airline; the results suggest that introducing aircraft with a design range of ~1,500 km to the existing fleet would be optimal in terms of airline economic performance. The new reduced-range aircraft would partly replace existing aircraft with longer design ranges, but the replacement would span over the entire planning horizon. Savings in variable cash operating costs of ~3% would offset financial penalties due to a lower fleet commonality.