More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, airlines are trying to recover and reinvent their business. And dashboards play an essential as they provide necessary facts and figures for decision-making. So we put together six airline dashboard examples some of the world’s biggest carriers use to monitor their day-to-day operations.

6 Dashboard Examples From Some of the Most Successful Airlines

Fact-based decisions usually outperform those made on gut feelings. Therefore, airlines around the globe rely on real-time dashboards to capture the essence of their day-to-day operations. Typically, an airline operations dashboard aims to cover all operational, relevant areas of an airline. That’s why we put together examples from various areas used by some of the world’s biggest carriers. On top of that, we’ve enriched the examples with best practices. Here’s an overview of the airline dashboard examples:

Contents
#1 — World Map and Global Operations Dashboard
#2 — Flights List and Details Dashboard
#3 — Airline Maintenance Dashboard
#4 — Airline Benchmark Dashboard
#5 — Weather Situation
#6 — Airport Operations

6 Airline Dashboard Examples

#1: World Map and Global Operations

Dashboard Overview
A global operations dashboard provides a high-level overview of an airline’s current operations. Typically it shows currently operated flights enriched with the essential key performance indicators.

Airline Dashboard Examples — World Map and Global Operations
Airline Dashboard Examples — World Map and Global Operations

What’s the goal?
The dashboard aims to provide awareness and the overall status of the entire operations. There’s no intention to go into details.

Our best-practices
Here are three best practices when setting up such a dashboard:
First, don’t use the actual flight paths: As mentioned above, the idea of this dashboard is not to provide details. Therefore, actual flight paths disturb the idea of getting a high-level overview.
High-level KPIs: USe key performance indicators that everyone understands. Again, this dashboard is meant to provide an overview for everybody.
Use color highlighting: Simple color highlighting (red, yellow, green) helps understand the current situation much faster.

Airlines that use a similar dashboard
Aegean Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Jetstar, United Airlines, etc.

#2 — Flights List and Details Dashboard

Dashboard Overview
The Flight List and Details Dashboard basically is the opposite of the Global Operations dashboard. The dashboard visualizes details to assess a situation further.

Airline Dashboard Examples — Flight List and Details Dashboard
Airline Dashboard Examples — Flight List and Details Dashboard

What’s contained?
Depending on the airline’s business model, that dashboard contains inbound flights on the left and outbound flights on the right (hub-and-spoke airlines) or simply one flight list (point-to-point airlines). In addition, each flight on the list is enriched with relevant attributes, such as scheduled and actual times, delay and delay reasons, passenger numbers, or aircraft information. On top of that, this airline dashboard provides more detailed key performance indicators, such as delay reasons or utilization.

What’s the goal?
The idea of this airline dashboard is to dive into the details and highlight current or future problem areas. Especially hub-and-spoke airlines can anticipate outbound problems by monitoring their inbound flight list.

Our best-practices
Here are two best practices when setting up such a dashboard:
Focus on relevant flight information: Solely showing a flight number doesn’t provide a huge benefit. One crucial piece of advice to enrich the flight list with helpful information. The example above shows additional attributes, such as Estimated Time Of Departure or Arrival (ETA and ETD), delay reasons, the number of passengers, or delay minutes provide additional value.
Color Highlighting: Develop a color concept highlighting flights according to different rules (specific delay minutes, ground time insufficiency, etc.). This will provide two fundamental advantages: On the one hand, you can quickly identify single flights with a specific problem, and on the other hand, you can quickly assess the overall situation of your operations according to the overall coloring of the flight list.

Airlines that use a similar dashboard
Lufthansa, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Volotea, Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot, Qantas, Emirates, etc.


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#3 — Airline Maintenance Dashboard

Dashboard Overview
In terms of an Airline Maintenance Dashboard, we’ve included two examples since they usually go hand-in-hand. The first one provides an overview of an airline’s maintenance activities, whereas the second one dives into the details.

Overview

Airline Dashboard Examples — Maintenance Overview
Airline Dashboard Examples — Maintenance Overview

Details

Airline Dashboard Examples — Maintenance Details
Airline Dashboard Examples — Maintenance Details

What’s contained
Similar to the global operations dashboard, the maintenance overview provides high-level maintenance information. It typically answers the questions of where checks are performed and the overall status of maintenance stations. Moreover, it contains the most essential airline maintenance key performance indicators, such as event rate or unplanned events. Similar to the flight list, the maintenance details provide in-depth information about single maintenance events. Many airlines use two lists to focus on planned and unplanned events. Additionally, the dashboard is enriched with detailed key performance indicators, such as on-time return to service, number of unplanned events, or aircraft downtime.

What’s the goal
Maintenance information is a decisive aspect when it comes to efficient and on-time airline operations. Therefore, an airline maintenance dashboard aims to provide all relevant information to assess the overall operational situation.

Best-practices
Here are two best practices when setting up such a dashboard:
First, don’t use too many KPIs: Remember that sometimes less is more. Only add those key performance indicators that are really decisive for your airline’s operations.
Unplanned events are relevant too: Many airlines solely focus on planned maintenance events. However, most often the unplanned events have a much higher impact on airlines’ operations. Therefore, it is essential to include information and relevant key performance indicators about unplanned events too.

Airlines that use a similar dashboard
Emirates, Eurowings, AirAsia, Jetstar, etc.

#4 — Airline Benchmark Dashboard

Dashboard Overview
A benchmark dashboard lets you compare different areas of an airline or even different airlines against each other. Thus, it is an enormously powerful instrument to identify weaknesses and optimization areas.

Airline Dashboard Examples — Benchmark
Airline Dashboard Examples — Benchmark

What’s contained?
The content of this airline dashboard highly differs between airlines and defined scope, whereas the core idea remains identical: Comparing and benchmarking different areas or airlines. Here are a few examples of how airlines use the benchmarking dashboard:

– Compare different fleet types (for example, Airbus vs. Boeing)
– Benchmark different hubs or stations
– Compare airlines of an airline group (for example, British Airways vs. Iberia vs. Aer Lingus)
– Market benchmark — compare your airline against competitors.

What’s the goal
On a very high level, the goal of the benchmarking dashboard is to provide context to an airline’s operations. On a more detailed level, it is about identifying weaknesses and areas of optimization.

Best-practices
Here’s a best practice when setting up such a dashboard:
Focus on one benchmark aspect: Benchmarks aren’t trivial. Therefore it is essential to focus on one topic only. For example, Benchmarking Airbus operations at hub a against your competitor’s Boeing operations at another hub is useless and too complex.

Airlines that use a similar dashboard
Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Saudi Arabian Airlines

#5 — Weather Situation

Dashboard Overview
There are only a few external factors that have a similar impact on airline operations as the weather. Therefore, this airline dashboard provides weather-relevant information in an easy-to-understand manner.

Airline Dashboard Examples — Weather Situation
Airline Dashboard Examples — Weather Situation

What’s contained?
The dashboard contains all relevant weather information. Usually, this type of information is extracted out of METAR and TAF messages. The challenge is translating the information (METAR and TAF are quite cryptic for many people) into an easy-to-understand visual language. On a more detailed level, this airline dashboard contains information as temperature, visibility, winds, exceptional weather situations (rain, thunderstorm, etc.), and airport categories.

What’s the goal
The goal in this context is straightforward: Since —especially medium and long-haul flights— are highly dependent on weather situations, the dashboard serves as an important source for decision making.

Best-practices
Here are two best practices when setting up such a dashboard:
Color Highlighting: Develop a color concept that highlights weather situations according to different rules.
Easy-to-understand: As mentioned, METAR or TAF messages are pretty cryptic for many people. Therefore, it is essential to develop a visual language that lets users quickly understand and assess a weather situation.

Airlines that use a similar dashboard
Emirates, American Airlines, Volotea, Lufthansa, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Jetstar, AirAsia, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Airlines, etc.

#6 — Airport Operations

Dashboard Overview
The last airline dashboard example plays an important role for hub-and-spoke airlines. The Airport Operations dashboard provides details about the operational status at a certain airport.

Airline Dashboard Examples — Airport Operations

What’s contained?
The Airport Operations dashboard contains relevant information about aircraft at a certain airport. Moreover —if available— the dashboard visualizes ground process information. Possible key performance indicators highly differ from airline to airline. For example, some airlines include KPIs about gate, position, or runway availabilities, whereas other airlines focus on turnaround processes. However, this dashboard typically requires additional external information from the airport or ground provider. Therefore, it is usually more complex to set up similar dashboards.

What’s the goal?
Turnaround processes are a critical part of an airline’s operations. In this context, the airport dashboard aims to provide details about aircraft and processes on the ground.

Best-practices
Here’s a best practice when setting up such a dashboard:
First, data is crucial: As already mentioned, this airline dashboard highly depends on available data. Accordingly, you have to define the required data and relevant sources thoroughly.

Airlines that use a similar dashboard
Lufthansa, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Airlines, etc.

Airline Dashboards — What’s Your Opinion?

We are always happy to receive your feedback and thoughts. Just leave a comment below or get in touch with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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CEO

Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.

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