Our client, a low-cost airline, launched a programme of five initiatives to lower cost. One of the initiatives focused on lowering ground handling costs at their home base. A double-digit percentage cost reduction was targeted. They approached us to identify and quantify savings opportunities in a joined project between them and their ground handler.
What we did
As people made up most of the cost, we created a personnel planning model. This model was used to calculate bottom-up how best to deploy personnel to different areas: check-in, gates, ramp and baggage and how to schedule them within existing labour agreements. The model included a queuing simulation of the check-in process, taking the then applicable SLA targets and the physical constraints into account. In addition, we assessed the impact of different tweaks to the flight schedule on ground handling cost.
What we accomplished
The bottom-up resource model identified that the ground handling operations were overstaffed during the low season. Improved staffing would lead to a substantial cost saving. Furthermore, increased grouping departures during low season and having the morning peak during summer, could reduce handling costs even further. The airline decided to implement the improved staffing scenarios and capture the benefits.