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Airline Network Planning Considering Climate Impact: Assessing New Operational Improvements

Noorafza, Mahdi and Santos, Bruno F. and Sharpanskykh, Alexei and Zengerling, Zarah L. and Weder, Christian M. and Linke, Florian and Grewe, Volker (2023) Airline Network Planning Considering Climate Impact: Assessing New Operational Improvements. Applied Sciences, 13 (11), p. 6722. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/app13116722. ISSN 2076-3417.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app13116722


The aviation industry has set an ambitious goal of reducing its climate impacts. Accordingly, airlines must balance their plans according to this goal with financial considerations. We developed a multi-objective framework to facilitate climate-aware network design by incorporating the objective to minimise the flight average temperature response (ATR) when optimising the airline network. We also assessed the operational improvements (OIs) which are introduced to improve sustainability in airline operations. In particular, we considered intermediate stop-overs (ISOs) and lower flight altitudes as OIs in our case studies. We analysed the impact of considering the climate impact in the planning of operations of three different airline types: one main-hub-and-spoke (KLM), one smaller multi-hub airline (TAP), and one low-cost carrier (EasyJet). The results show that airlines could also lower their environmental impact by 10–36% when considering the ATR as an objective. However, this would require an 8–20% reduction in profits. Adopting lower-altitude flying with ISO could mitigate their climate impact by 27–49% while reducing profits by approximately 6%. Our study highlights the importance of considering the airline network as a whole and demonstrates the potential benefits of operational improvements from a network perspective.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195375/
Document Type:Article
Title:Airline Network Planning Considering Climate Impact: Assessing New Operational Improvements
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Noorafza, MahdiDelft University of Technology, Delft, NLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Santos, Bruno F.Delft University of Technology, Delft, NLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sharpanskykh, AlexeiDelft University of Technology, Delft, NLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zengerling, Zarah L.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7424-3687148015157
Linke, FlorianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1403-3471UNSPECIFIED
Grewe, VolkerDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8012-6783UNSPECIFIED
Date:1 June 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Applied Sciences
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 6722
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:airline network, climate impact of aviation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Air Transportation and Impact
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AI - Air Transportation and Impact
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Climate, Weather and Environment, L - Air Transport Operations and Impact Assessment
Location: Hamburg , Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Institute of Air Transport
Institute of Air Transport > Air Transport Management
Deposited By: Grewe, Prof. Dr. Volker
Deposited On:06 Jun 2023 10:59
Last Modified:04 Dec 2023 11:33

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