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3 secret KPIs you haven’t been using yet, that will tremendousl​y improve your operations

Airline operations KPIs have been around for a long time. And I'm pretty sure your airline is already tracking KPIs such as punctuality, regularity, or delay minutes. It is good to track those primary KPIs. However, it only serves as an entry point to the world of airline operations KPIs.

Today I want to share with you three KPIs that go beyond punctuality and provide more detailed insights. And I’m profoundly convinced that you haven’t been using those KPIs up to now.

What’s that special with the three KPIs I’m going to introduce? All of them represent a type of KPI I like to call Key Disruption Indicator.

Basic KPIs (punctuality, stability, etc.) are used to enhance your situational awareness. That means they provide an overview of your performance. On the contrary, Key Disruption Indicators focus on aspects that directly influence your basic KPIs. Although Key Disruption Indicators are way more specific, they provide a huge possibility to influence the primary KPIs.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen only a few airlines that monitor essential Key Disruption Indicators in real-time. Additionally, there’s no fixed set of Key Disruption Indicators. It always depends on the specific business model, network, and other operational aspects.

Let’s go with my three examples of Key Disruption Indicators, which I’m sure you haven’t been using yet.

Standby crew availability

The availability of standby crews immensely affects your flight operations. Running into a standby shortage directly impacts your flight schedule. Subsequently, the availability is tightly linked with your primary goals of stable and on-time operations.

What we did at numerous airlines, is connect the crew operations systems with our KPI solution to gather relevant standby data. Based on that, we are constantly calculating the number of standby crews. Most often separated according to positions (captain, first officer, purser, cabin crew) and sub fleets. By doing this, all relevant stakeholders are aware and alerted once the availability of particular standby crews is becoming critical.

Ground time sufficiency

Ground time sufficiency tracks the number of flights that meet the planned turn-around time in relation to all operated flights. Unsurprisingly, this KPI directly affects the on-time performance. This is obvious, since flights with a longer turn-around time than expected most likely result in delayed flights.

As the ground time sufficiency can be based on estimated times, this KPI provides the possibility to identify problems actively. Accordingly, it is possible to implement countermeasures at an early stage.

Aircraft Availability

Sometimes delays occur since the aircraft isn’t available at the point boarding is planned to start. The aircraft availability KPI tracks the number of flights for which the aircraft is available once boarding begins in relation to all operated flights.

Although this KPI provides an only limited potential for direct improvements, it holds potential for further process improvements.

Get more out of your airline KPIs

All three KPIs are rather specific and require detailed data. However, tracking these KPIs can enhance overall performance both in the long run and in the short term.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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