Airline Operations

Behind every parcel delivery is an extraordinary story of people, technology, and partnerships

Behind every parcel delivery is an extraordinary story of people, technology, and partnerships

Last year, FedEx Express flew more than 6.5 million parcels, daily, across more than 650 airports in 220+ countries and territories. That's a massive logistical accomplishment that would have been impossible without committed people, cutting-edge technology, and solid partnerships. The complexity behind managing a global network of this scale, comprised of 680+ aircrafts and 4,500 pilots, can't be understated.

Each aircraft has specific crew needs, such as the number of crew required to operate a flight and specialized training. Each route also has different crew requirements depending on flight duration, overnight stays, and standby availability, for example. Furthermore, most countries have their own health and safety regulations governing crew flight and rest times, etc. And if you really want to spice things up by throwing a little disruption into the mix, you can quickly get a sense of the complexities at play.

Multiple factors must be considered when planning, scheduling, managing, optimizing, and recovering legally compliant crew assignments and rosters. In addition to covering the baseline, crew satisfaction is important at FedEx. So, we have a bidding system that in some instances allows pilots to select preferred destinations, schedules, and even factor-in desired time off. Within this context, intelligent, predictive, and highly automated technology is critical to connecting all the dots to ensure efficient operational performance.

Yet, the multipliers to success beyond robust technology are the trusted partnerships you forge with committed people. In today's complex and fast-paced technology-driven world, it's no longer just about pushing existing company products and services. It's about genuinely trying help customers resolve evolving needs over time. This is what long-standing and trusted partnerships are built upon. And this is what has allowed us to continue pushing the boundaries of crew management excellence and innovation since teaming up with AD OPT in 1998.

*Note: AD OPT is an IBS Software company.

Author Info 

The late Richard Lewis accumulated 35 years' experience in airline flight operations management and was Managing Director of Crew Planning, Crew Scheduling and Flight Coordination in his most recent role at FedEx Express. He was responsible for evolving the FedEx Fatigue Risk Management Plan as a Technical Fellow and represented the airline on the IATA FRMS Task Force, at the CAA, A4A, and the FAR117 ARC. Richard was a graduate of Western Michigan University.

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