Integrated aviation model and metaheuristic algorithm for hub-and-spoke network design and airline fleet planning

Jiang Wu, Pei wen Zhang, Yu Wang, Jim (Junmin) Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Most extant studies on aviation's hub-and-spoke network focus on the optimization problems from the perspective of economies of scale thanks to the inherent inter-hub connections, whereas the economies of scale on each route is contingent on the associated allocation of different types of aircraft. In this paper, we devise an integrated model of hub-and-spoke network design and fleet planning with the constraints of the passenger flow demand as well as the adaptation of different types of aircraft for each route, with the objective to minimize the total system cost (i.e., the sum of the hub setting cost and aircraft's related cost). To tackle the complexity of the integrated model, we develop a heuristic solution algorithm based on a Genetic Algorithm framework and an improved Floyd–Warshall algorithm to solve the value of the fitness function. The proposed model and the developed algorithms are tested with the US flight network (i.e., the CAB dataset) and China's aviation network. The sensitivity analysis reveals that the demand window is one of the critical factors that affect hub-and-spoke network design and fleet planning, while the utilization rate of specified aircraft fleet determines the fleet configuration, which poses relatively less impact on hub-and-spoke network design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102755
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
StatePublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


  • Air transport
  • Aviation operations
  • Fleet planning
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Hub network
  • Joint decision


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