DOI: 10.3390/su152316476 ISSN: 2071-1050

Analysis of Boarding Strategies on an Airbus A320 Using Discrete Event Simulation

Hélio Moreira, Luís Pinto Ferreira, Nuno O. Fernandes, Ana Luísa Ramos, Paulo Ávila
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Boarding time constitutes a critical element of turnaround time, which is used to measure the efficiency of airline operations. Therefore, to reduce boarding time, it is imperative to reconsider traditional passenger boarding strategies to make them more efficient. In this sense, this study seeks to analyze the impact of different strategies on boarding times using discrete event simulation on an Airbus 320. Seven boarding strategies have been identified and considered in our study, as follows: random, back-to-front, outside-in, reverse pyramid, blocks, Steffen, and modified optimal. The impact of carrying hand luggage and the presence of priority passengers has been considered, as well as the impact of having a continuous arrival of passengers during the boarding process versus having all passengers available at boarding time. In general, simulation results have pointed out that the outside-in and reverse pyramid strategies are the most effective, improving boarding time by up to 15%, when compared to the random strategy. Moreover, the back-to-front strategy, which is generally implemented by airline companies, has been shown to be the most inefficient strategy. Efficient boarding strategies are expected to contribute to the sustainability of air travel by minimizing the turnaround time, improving operational efficiency, and reducing emissions.

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