Why Do Airlines Outsource Workforce Management

Airlines have a difficult mission – to provide safe, convenient transportation at a lower cost than their competitors. Skillful planning and scheduling is vital to maintaining a qualified crew.  This ensures the flights are flown as scheduled, regulations are met, and crew members (who are increasingly difficult to recruit and retain)  have a sustainable schedule.

why do airlines outsource workforce management

One of the recent examples of crew planning problems can be a case of Ryanair, the low-cost carrier based in Dublin. The airline reported that poor planning and a bit of bad luck left the company with a shortage of working pilots, many of whom took time off, for the autumn. Consequently, the shortfall has forced Ryanair to cancel 2,100 flights starting on September 16th and continuing through October. So, even the most insignificant mistake made while planning and scheduling crew resources can turn into serious problems bringing huge financial losses for airlines.

Source – Crew Planning and Scheduling – The True Ruler of an Airline

There are three reasons airlines outsource this critical task:

1. Crew planning and scheduling is a complex data management task.

The complexity of crew scheduling comes from these variables:

  • Regulated ICAO or FAA flight time, duty and rest requirements
  • Required skills and training kept current and in compliance with regulations for each crew member
  • Planned vacation and time off requests
  • Contingencies for maintenance or weather delays
  • Contingencies for illness and other occurrences

A workforce plan or roster for any given flight is likely to change several times before the flight occurs, so backup plans must be in place and communicated smoothly as changes occur.

2. Impartiality is very helpful to morale.

Maintaining good morale is a good business practice, as skilled flight crews become more difficult to recruit and retain.

Boeing’s official pilot outlook for 2019 predicts that 804,000 new civil pilots will be needed to fly its global fleet over the next 20 years, stemming from a mix of growth and retirements and other attrition. Boeing said the Asia Pacific region will lead worldwide growth in that pilot demand.
Source – Looming Pilot Shortage Lifts Aviation Schools

While most pilots consider it the greatest job in the world, most of the pilots we know find the schedule to be the most difficult part of the job, and any perceived favoritism or unfairness in scheduling is often the most galling of offenses.

Outsourcing the scheduling process removes the possibility of partiality in the scheduling process.

3. It’s safe, timely and cost-effective.

Global Virtuoso has trained professionals available for airline workforce planning management.  New or expanding airlines have the choice to either hire and train personnel for a scheduling department from scratch, or to partially or fully outsource this function.

Workforce management requires seamless and fast communication and secure information transfer. This is particularly important since workforce management involves communications concerning personnel details, training and even medical records.

Global Virtuoso is an ISO 270001:2013 certified organization that uses state of the art electrical and communication systems operating with multiple redundancies.  In many cases, these backups and safeguards to ensure uninterrupted communications and secure data management exceed measures taken internally by airlines.

Flexible staffing allows airlines to meet their scheduling workload as needed and adapt to changes without expensive recruitment, training and retention of specialists on-staff.  This is a significant cost savings. Global Virtuoso workforce management specialists are often faster, better trained, and able to spot efficiency opportunities than the team members at airlines who are required to perform a wide variety of duties.

Airlines can then pass that cost savings on to their customers as lower fares, or to their shareholders as revenue.

Need Some Assistance?

If your airline could use some assistance with any of these tasks, schedule an appointment today to speak with one of our airline business process outsourcing specialists.

  • Flight Planning
  • Load Control
  • Flight Data Analysis
  • Workforce Planning
  • Roster Management
  • Baggage Tracing
  • Baggage Claims Management
  • Disruption Management
  • Passenger Accommodations
  • Ground Transportation
  • Meal Vouchers
  • Level II Support for Airline Check-In Counter Agents
  • Level II Support for Airline Reservation Agents
  • Reservation Call Center – Telephone

Learn more about Outsourced Aviation Services, or Contact Us today.

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