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Delta 's Operation Clockwork

Transforming the fundamentals of an airline

Lucio Petroccione Jr. - Principal
Transportation & Logistics Practice
Decision Strategies, Inc.
May 07, 2007

About the author
Lucio Petroccione Jr. is a seasoned airline executive with over twenty years of industry experience. His career includes executive positions with Pan Am World Airways and Delta Air Lines. Lucio has had extensive experience in the critical areas of Strategic Planning, Business Development, Marketing, Network & Schedule Development, Airport Customer Service, Operations Management and Technology Development.
In 2005, Lucio was the architect and led the corporate
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The commercial aviation industry is unique as a production "factory", with the perishable nature of its primary product flowing out of each airport as its factories. The product, available seats to a number of locations at a particular time of day, is the perishable commodity. There is no way to recapture that product and value once the plane departs if a seat is empty. The seat cannot go on a shelf waiting to be purchased the next day.

The airport-factory is dependent on receiving the inventory of seats, i.e. the arriving aircraft, which produces available seats to leave the airport. The steady, reliable delivery of inventory is highly dependent upon an independent vendor and upon meteorological factors. Both variables may appear to be beyond the airline 's control. For instance, the Federal Aviation Air Traffic Control System (ATC) is responsible for the delivery channels and capacity of aircraft to the airport factories on schedule. Airlines can sometimes influence ATC outcomes, but they cannot directly control them. Weather, a constant and unpredictable component, further contributes to the complexity of delivering inventory where and when needed. The airline 's themselves have limited control on the impact and timely delivery of inventory in conformance to their production schedule (the flight schedule). An area where airlines have some influence on this capacity is through their network design and schedule. All of

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