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A service that I am very familiar with is Air Transportation. I have worked for Allegiant Air for four and a half years now, with four of those years being as a Crew Scheduler. My job for most of my career was to ensure we had the needed Pilots and Flight Attendants to cover all of our flights. While I am sure everyone is aware of the halt that COVID put on air travel, many are not aware that there are seasonal changes to demand that we deal with every year.
There are key dates that Allegiant prepares for throughout the year. We keep an eye on when most universities will be starting and ending each semester. A huge number of students fly to the schools they attend, and live in the dorms. This means they fly back and forth between their homes and schools around these dates. Next, we keep an eye on when most universities will have Spring Break. During this time, many students will be flying to either their homes to visit family, or to vacation destinations to party. Next, we keep an eye on holidays. Many will take advantage of being off work and school to visit family. This is most evident around Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are our highest fly days of the year. In addition to specific dates, we also know that Winter Break and Summer Break are busy seasons for flying because many will go on vacations when school is not in session.
Oppositely, we also know that the first few months following the beginning of the school year is the time where we see the lowest demand.
Because we can identify these trends, we can plan accordingly. We plan for more flights to operate during these times, and we ensure we have an excess of the crew to not only fly them but to cover for the call-outs that inevitably happen when our own Pilots and Flight Attendants choose to take time off for vacations and visiting family at this same time. Similarly, during the ‘down season,’ we choose to operate fewer flights and have fewer crew on duty.
Essentially, because we have identified these trends regarding when demand for air travel is high or low, we can adjust our ‘supply’ of flights and crew for those flights accordingly.