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How Are Airline Flights Scheduled?

Documentary goes behind the science of regularly scheduled departures and arrivals.

Have you ever wondered how so many flights are scheduled back and forth around the world on a daily basis? According to FlightRadar24, over 100,000 flights depart around the world each day. Wendover Productions broke that down even further in a short documentary posted on YouTube, explaining how airline flights are scheduled between airlines and airports.

The nine-minute video looks into how the puzzle of scheduling flights between airlines takes place to ensure travelers get to their final destinations with minimal difficulties. Using American Airlines as an example, the video explains that flights are scheduled to arrive and depart out of hubs at nearly the same time.

“This way, nobody has to wait longer than two hours to connect,” the video explains. “This is how the airline gets those connecting passengers: offering shorter connection times.”

Narration also explains the difference between “banked” hubs versus “non-banked” hubs. “Banked” hubs, which require flights to enter and exit within a certain timing window, are more expensive because they require additional personnel and equipment to maintain. The “non-banked” hub operated by Southwest Airlines requires less equipment, thus keeping costs down for the airline and their passengers. The video continues by explaining how traffic is handled between hubs, and how “banking” can go even further aboard Middle East carriers to ensure connections remain consistent.

Additionally, the documentary describes the biggest difference between budget carriers and non-budget carriers. Because time on the ground costs airlines money, budget carriers continually fly their aircraft. According to the film, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines will fly an aircraft for an average of 11 hours per day, nearly four hours longer than legacy carrier American.

The video, along with other airline-related mini-documentaries, can be found on Wendover Productions’ YouTube channel.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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