Explain the relationship between short-term scheduling, capacity planning, aggregate planning, and a master schedule.

Short-term Scheduling

Short term involves meeting the current demands with the output. The current demands are given priority and allocated the firm’s resource. Efficient scheduling can reduce the production, work-in-progress and customer waiting time. Forward scheduling involves taking a starting and planning all activities from there to the forward date. Backward scheduling involves planning backward from a set future date. In the chosen firm, American Airline, short-term scheduling involves planning the following:

  • Scheduling employees for the flights e.g. pilots, cabin crews, on airport ground staff, etc.
  • Scheduling flight arrival and departure
  • Scheduling the catering services
  • Scheduling for repair and maintenance of the aircraft

Capacity planning

Capacity in the maximum output that a firm can produce. Capacity planning involves determining the future capacity requirements of the firm and determining and allocating resources for the capacity (Mahadevan, 2010).

For American Airline, the capacity planning is related to the passenger that their aircraft will carry in a year. The measure for capacity in American Airlines is Available Seat Mile (ASM) which is one seat whether occupied by the passenger or not flying one-mile distance. American Airline’s capacity planning involves determining ASM for every aircraft.

ASM = Number of Seat in an Aircraft x Estimated Miles

(Anon., n.d.)

Aggregate planning

It involves planning a schedule for the operation of the company for a period of six to eighteen months in advance. In, American Airlines, aggregate planning involves the following:

  • Fleet: Determining how many aircraft will be used, how many would need to be disposed of, buying a plan for new aircrafts etc.
  • Route Determination: Aircraft will take what route on their flights
  • Flight Schedules: Times and rates (frequency) at which aircrafts will fly.
  • Fare Determination: determining the flight fare for each type of fight and service offered
  • Revenue planning: determining how many passengers will be accepted, what will be the revenue etc.?

Master schedule

A master schedule includes all steps and tasks in the operations of the firm, each of the steps in the master schedule is assigned time period so that the completion time can be determined. American Airlines prepare a master schedule by determining all the company activities related and unrelated to formal flight structure. The master schedule will include not only the flight and airport plans but also the on ground plans of American Airlines.

Draw a Gantt loading and scheduling chart.

Gantt chart

Gantt chart gives the list of activities along with the time periods in which they will be completed (Naybour, 2014).A Gantt chart for loading schedule, known as turnabout schedule for an aircraft is given below

A Gantt cart for scheduling is given below

Apply the assignment method for loading jobs.


Loading involves assigning jobs to the various work centers within the organization, so the output process continues unhindered. Assignment method for loading involves allocating resources to each job center. American Airline determines the Load for its service by the following method

Load = Revenue per Mile/ Available seat per mile

Assignment method for load in American Airlines is vertical loading, it involves a sequential process of job assignment i.e. determining the flights, assigning pilots and cabin crew to the flights, assigning personnel on airport for checking and ticketing and assigning passenger to flights and seats. (Bazargan, 2010)


Anon., n.d. American Airlines. [Online]
Available at: https://www.aa.com/i18n/amrcorp/corporateInformation/facts/measurements.jsp
[Accessed May 2016].

Bazargan, M., 2010. Airline Operations and Scheduling. Second ed. New York: Routledge.

Mahadevan, B., 2010. Operations Management: Theory and Practice. Second Edition ed. s.l.: Pearson.

Naybour, P., 2014. [Online]
Available at: https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/using-gantt-chart-manage-project-schedule
[Accessed May 2016].