Combining column generation and constraint programming to solve the tail assignment problem
Journal article, 2009

Within the area of short term airline operational planning, Tail Assignment is the problem of assigning flight legs to individual identified aircraft while satisfying all operational constraints, and optimizing some objective function. In this article, we propose that Tail Assignment should be solved as part of both the short and the long term airline planning. We further present a hybrid column generation and constraint programming solution approach. This approach can be used to quickly produce solutions for operations management, and also to produce close-to-optimal solutions for long and mid term planning scenarios. We present computational results which illustrate the practical usefulness of the approach.


Fleet planning


Constraint programming



Airline operational planning

maintenance routing problem

Tail assignment


S. Gabteni

Jeppesen Systems AB

Mattias Grönkvist

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Computing Science (Chalmers)

Annals of Operations Research

0254-5330 (ISSN) 1572-9338 (eISSN)

Vol. 171 1 61-76

Subject Categories

Computer Science



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