5 Reasons Why Airlines Aim For Short Turnaround Times | Airlines

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  • Airlines aim for short turnaround times to maximize revenue by operating more flights per day. Every minute matters in terms of generating more income.
  • On-time performance is crucial for airlines to maintain a reliable reputation and minimize flight delays. Delays can have a cascading effect and disrupt the entire schedule.
  • Minimizing layovers and keeping flights on schedule are important for customer satisfaction and to compete against other airlines. Short turnarounds help minimize layovers and enhance operational efficiency.

Turnaround is the length of time between an aircraft’s landing and when it departs for its next flight. A slew of critical safety and passenger experience processes occur during aircraft turnaround. Pilots run through their pre-flight routines during the brief duration when the aircraft is grounded while the fueling, maintenance, cargo loading, catering, and cleaning procedures are implemented. See our previous report to learn more about the frenzy of activity in the turnaround process.

Shorter turnaround times are ideal for airlines, as an aircraft isn’t generating revenue by sitting on the ground. Here are the significant factors contributing to operators’ desires to reduce turnaround duration.

1 More flights, more revenue

The top reason why airlines strive toward short turnaround times is the simple fact that they can operate more flights per day, bringing in more revenue. In our analysis of why airlines pay attention to turnaround times, we noted that a short-haul airline flying one-hour segments all day could add an extra flight to their daily schedule by trimming turnaround time by eight minutes. Considering the tens of thousands of dollars at stake, it is easy to see how every minute matters.

Low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines are the model for efficiency in turnaround times. When Southwest commenced operations with just a few aircraft, it was…

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