Fly Charter Airlines - Konstantin Kukuy
Providing the essential piece to the flight operations puzzle
Using the new crew scheduling features in Schedearo
A streamlined operation that have a crew more connected than ever
How long have you guys at Fly Charter Airlines been using Schedaero for?
Quite a while, but I’d say we’ve been using it full-time since early 2017. Right now, Schedaero takes care of most of our record keeping and scheduling. To be honest, up until 2016 we were an entirely paper-based company and we really wanted to end that reign of terror!
We still use other systems for flight planning and some other features. We’re kind of playing around with a host of things until Schedaero becomes that one-stop-shop for us. It looks like we’re going in the right direction on that.
And you’re playing your part by beta testing the new crew scheduling functionality.
Absolutely. That really came about by luck. I was speaking with our reps about some minor issues we were having, and they mentioned the crew scheduling and whether I knew about it. I didn’t, but I was really happy to because I’m always looking for ways to make our scheduling better.
How does the testing work for you, day-to-day?
Well, they enabled it on my account and I’ve just gone in and tried to mess it up as best I can by clicking on everything. Joking aside, I’ve been using it for about a month now and I’ve found most of the features to be fantastic. Some could be improved, but that’s the whole purpose of testing, right?
As a business, we’ve kind of deployed it, but I’m still running our old Excel spreadsheet in the background just in case. But it’s going really well.
Talk me through the improvements you’d like to see with the new scheduling.
Firstly, I’d love to get rid of those Excel spreadsheets. I can pretty much do that now by deploying schedules well into the future. Just on that, I’d really like to be able to limit the viewability to maybe just the next month or two. When the team sees the schedule months in advance it causes so much conversation, but they forget that changes happen all the time.
The other thing that I’ve been feeding back is that I’d love to be able to group pilots. At the moment, if I create a set of lines – let’s say an identical line of several days on and several days off – a number of my pilots fall into that line. I can select the pilot and select the days and I pop it into the schedule and it’s beautiful. It’s a work of art.
However, if I make a mistake I can’t go back and modify that entire group of people. I have to do them individually. If I could make just one change, and it’s rolled out across the entire group schedule, that would be awesome.
And now you can suggest it.
Yeah, I can. That’s the great thing about being involved in the testing. I can feed that straight back to the Schedaero team. And I must say, they’ve been very responsive and keen to hear our thoughts.
How about the response from your team to the new crew scheduling functionality?
I would say it’s been noticeably positive across the business. My entire pilot group is really thrilled about it. They can now just pull it up on their iPads whenever they like and it’s so simple to see at a glance what days they’re working and where they’re going.
On the operations side, Schedaero handles the bulk of what we need to do to accomplish a flight, and the response I’m getting from that team is also very favorable. Where in the past I would just dump the Excel spreadsheet, now they can log on at their leisure.
Plus, because I can now add notes for them too, I no longer get midnight phone calls asking me questions. I certainly don’t miss those.