A Fleet Planner needs to answer two questions: Which aircraft are needed? and When to acquire them?
An airline needs to consider a number of partly conflicting criteria during selection of aircraft, including aircraft economics; technical, operational and environmental performance; and cabin comfort.
Another important influencing factor is fleet commonality. This describes the number of aircraft of the same type, the same aircraft family or the same manufacturer in a fleet.
When answering the “When” question, the airline will take into account the development of demand for transport capacity, the age and cost of its current fleet, and the availability of new, more efficient aircraft.
Airline fleet planning varies from airline to airline depending, for example, on the airline’s business model and its operating characteristics.