Airline Innovations During COVID-19

The airline industry is being reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fundamental changes in passenger demand and booking patterns are driving the need for new operations research (OR) solutions. This special issue in Operations Research Forum (ORFO) highlights new innovations in airline OR problems that have been motivated by fundamental changes in passenger demand during COVID-19. With this issue, we invite leaders in aviation that use operations research techniques, optimization, computing, and data analytics to study airline OR problems. Of specific interest are research works that focus on the use of new data sources and scenario-based methodologies to forecast demand, works that use techniques such as clean-slate scheduling to quickly realign supply with demand, large-scale crew pairing and rostering approaches that consider monthly flight schedules, and operations recovery planning for events with advance notice. Approaches that incorporate robustness or that provide integrated solutions across multiple functional areas are also of interest. The need for research in these areas was identified in a series of virtual meetings that the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (AGIFORS) held from May to July of 2021. This call for papers is extended to all researchers with an interest in developing OR solutions that can help the aviation industry operate safety, efficiently, and profitably during and after COVID-19. All papers will be rigorously refereed according to the high standards of ORFO. The OR Forum particularly invites contributions that are important for the operations research community but which do not find appropriate and durable outlets otherwise. This includes truly interdisciplinary works, insightful reports from practice, software presentations or implementation issues, reproducibility studies, expert interviews, and others.


  • Laurie A. Garrow

    Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA Email:

  • Virginie Lurkin

    University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland Email:

  • Lavanya Marla

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA Email:

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