Southwest started to use SkyMAX in 2015, and it was an immediate success. Planners were able to create new flight schedules that were both highly operable and highly profitable. Using SkyMAX, Southwest generates schedules that improve network profitability by tens of millions of dollars annually.
Generating optimal clean-sheet flight schedules for an airline the size of Southwest used to be considered impossible due to the size of the mathematical problem. With SkyMAX, Southwest’s network planning is innovative in that it creates clean-sheet schedules to maximize profitability instead of incrementally modifying an existing schedule.
Using SkyMAX, Southwest significantly reduced the time it takes network planners to create new schedules. Multiple users can now collaborate to create and analyze more what-if scenarios, create more base schedules and perform strategic planning studies.
We continue to invest in SkyMAX to help Southwest unlock even more business value. Bringing crew rotations into SkyMAX, for example, was a major enhancement. Now, we are adding reliability (on-time performance) to flight schedule optimization.