Continental Airlines

Access the winning project’s companion paper

Team Awards

Franz Edelman Award: Winner(s)
Winning material: A New Era for Crew Recovery at Continental Airlines
2002 - Winner(s)

Airlines face schedule disruptions every day due to unexpected events including inclement weather, air traffic control, mechanical problems, and crew unavailability. These disruptions impact the flight schedule and lead to delays and cancellations. As a result, flight crews may not be in position to service their remaining scheduled flights. Airlines must be able to quickly reassign crews to cover open flights and return crews to their original schedules in the most cost-effective manner, while honoring all government regulations, contractual obligations, and business rules. The CrewSolverTM decision support system, developed by CALEB Technologies Corp. for Continental Airlines, uses operations research to generate globally optimal, or near optimal, crew recovery solutions while satisfying multiple complex constraints.

Since implementation, the system has dealt successfully with several high profile events such as the December 2000 and March 2001 Nor'easter snowstorms, the June 2001 Houston flood, and most dramatically, the September 11th terrorist attack. Throughout, Continental recovered from each event in record time and generated overall benefits worth tens of millions of dollars.

Access the winning project’s companion paper