School of Aviation

Dr Cheng-Lung (Richard) Wu - UNSW Aviation
Dr. C. Richard  Wu

Dr Cheng-Lung (Richard) Wu

Associate Professor

BEng, MEng (NTU, Taiwan), PhD (Loughborough, UK), GradRAes

Office:  Old Main Building R218
Postal Address:
 School of Aviation, UNSW Australia, Kensington NSW 2052, Australia

My Professional Statement:

I am an Associate Professor in aviation who specialises in solving operations and scheduling problems of airlines and airports. These problems include airline operations management, scheduling, airport terminal planning, airport retail development and passenger choice behaivour studies. Many of my past projects helped industry partners save millions of dollars in operating costs or enhance product sales and revenues. I lead a team of researchers who have specialised skills to deliver values for industry partners while we innovate our approach to solving industry problems through world-class aviation research at UNSW Australia.

My Academic Activities

I joined UNSW Aviation in 2002 after my PhD from Loughborough University (UK). I have spent time both in the public and private sector in transport and aviation. My reserach is innovative and highly relevant to the industry; recent projects in my lab include:

  • Airline fuel policy optimisation (current PhD project funded by Qantas)
  • Tourist travel choice modelling considering transport influences (current PhD project)
  • The impact of aging population on air transport facilities (current PhD project)
  • Air passenger purchase behaviour at airports (current PhD project)
  • Improving un-constrained demand forecasting in airline yield management systems (current PhD project)
  • Improving aircraft maintenance scheduling efficiency (current part-time MSc project with Qantas)
  • Product improvement for ancillary revenues (current part-time MSc project with Virgin Australia)
  • Air passenger shopping behaviour simulation (current project)

My Professional Activities

Airline Operations and Delay Management
Wu's Book Cover.

In the past few years, I have seen the commercial implementation of my earlier Aircraft Turnaround Monitoring System (ATMS) research (article here). This prototype product, ATMS was issued a preliminary Australian patent in 2004, recognising the innovation of this framework/prototype in the airline industry. Recent commercial examples of the ATMS concept include: SITA's former Workforce Mobility Solution. Also see another example of the ATMS framework in action from Avtura's Real-Time Aircraft Turnaround Tool.

My Research Interests

My research focus on airport operations, airline operations, schedule optimisation and passenger's choice behaviour modelling. I published a book with Ashgate Publishing, titled 'Airline Operations and Delay Management. This book was published in March 2010. Check the book at: Ashgate website. You can also find this book via A simplified-Chinese version of this book is also available via Chinese Civil Aviation Publishing House.

A synopses of the book is given below:

"This book is focused on airline operations and delay management with insights and perspectives from airline economics, network evolution and schedule planning. The ultimate goal of managing airline operations is to minimise operating costs and follow the designed operational plans including the schedule. Hence, it would not be a complete book to discuss airline operational issues and management without addressing the underlying economic and market forces that drive the evolution of airline networks and consequently the philosophy of schedule planning.

This book starts by introducing the operating environment of airlines, the evolution of airline networks, the driving economic forces behind airline scheduling and the general practices of airline schedule planning procedures. Airline operations at airports are discussed in detail in Chapter 2 including activities by airlines at airports, the uncertainties involved in daily operations, and the impact of uncertain disruptions on the management of airline operations. Chapter 3 explores the issues in managing daily aircraft turnaround operations, combining industry practices and mathematical models for managing airline ground operations at airports. The network effects of airline operations in Chapter 4 outlines the impact of stochastic disruptions on airline networks, followed by operational management of complex airline networks and on-time performance in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 starts by introducing readers the emerging concept of robust airline scheduling and operational reliability of airline networks. Recent advances in modelling and optimising airline operations and airline schedules are discussed and examples are given from real-world cases. Mathematical models widely used in the industry for solving airline operations and management issues are discussed in the book. Further details of these models are placed in the Appendix for interested and advanced readers."

Book Reviews:

David Forsyth, Chairman Airservices Australia, and former Executive General Manager Airline Operations, QANTAS:
'Network and Schedule Planning are key functions in any airline. In practice, many airlines do not give these issues the depth of analysis they deserve. Wu’s book is a practical guide to application of complex network theory, and to resolving the management of conflicting demands on schedulers. It provides valuable lessons for airline managers to improve their on-time performance, delay management and efficient utilisation of their fleet.'

Prof. Peter Forsyth, Monash University, Australia
'Airline network planning and schedule optimisation sets up a wide range set of problems to be resolved, entailing operations research, economics and other disciplines. Wu's book provides a systematic yet practical guide to these. The book is masterly in the way that it elucidates complex material and builds up to reach a comprehensive synthesis. The result is a book which can be recommended strongly to both students and researchers.'

Table of Contents

1 Introduction to Airline Operations and the Operating Environment 1
1.1 Airline Networks and Airline Economics 1
1.2 Airline Schedule Planning 5
1.3 Airline Operations 8
1.4 The Operating Environment of Airlines 11
1.5 The Context and Outline of the Book 14
2 Airline Operations at Airports 17
2.1 Airline Scheduling at Airports 18
2.2 Aircraft Turnaround Operations 22
2.3 Schedule Constraints and Delays 29
2.4 The Optimal Turnaround Time - Empirical Methods 35
2.5 The Optimal Turnaround Time - Analytical Methods 39
2.6 Schedule Optimisation and Case Study 52
2.7 Summary 65
Appendix- Notations and Symbols Introduced in Chapter Two 66
3 Managing Airline Ground Operations 69
3.1 Issues in Aircraft Turnaround Operations 69
3.2 Collecting Service Data of Aircraft Turnarounds 72
3.3 Managing and Modelling Ground Service Activities 82
3.4 Managing the Stochasticity of Airline Ground Operations 92
3.5 Managing Passenger Flows at Airports 106
3.6 Summary 115
Appendix- Notations and Symbols Introduced in Chapter Three 116
4 Enroute Flight Operations in Airline Networks 119
4.1 Fleets and Aircraft Routing 119
4.2 Crewing and Crew Scheduling 124
4.3 Complex Airline Networks 128
4.4 Case Study- Measuring Airline Network Complexity 145
4.5 Delay Propagation Modelling - Simulation Models 149
4.6 Delay Propagation Modelling - Regression Models 158
4.7 Summary 166
Appendix- Notations and Symbols Introduced in Chapter Four 167
5 Delay Management and Disruption Management 169
5.1 Airline Disruption Management 170
5.2 On-Time Performance Measurement and Statistics Reporting 180
5.3 Case Study- OTP Diagnosis 184
5.4 Inherent Delays of an Airline Network 188
5.5 Schedule Optimisation and Network Reliability 194
5.6 Summary 204
Appendix- Notations and Symbols Introduced in Chapter Five 206
6 Robust Airline Scheduling and Operational Reliability 207
6.1 The Conventional Paradigm of Airline Schedule Planning 207
6.2 The Emergence of Robust Airline Scheduling 213
6.3 Improving Airline Schedule Robustness: Strategies 215
6.4 Integrated Models for Improving Solution Quality 221
6.5 The Future of Airline Schedule Planning 229
6.5.1 The On-going Struggle of Airline Scheduling 230
6.5.2 Bring Simplicity Back to Airline Scheduling 230
6.5.3 Future Philosophy of Airline Scheduling 232
References 237

Dr. Wu's most recent publications include:


  • Forthcoming soon.


  • Wu, C. L., and Maher, S., 2015. Airline scheduling and disruption management, in Air Transport Management: An International Perspective, Ed. L. Budd and S. Ison. Ashgate Publishing. (in press, to appear in 2016)


  • Froyland, G., Maher, S. and Wu, C. L., 2014. The Recoverable Robust Tail Assignment Problem. Transportation Science, Vol 48(3), pp.351-372. Download
  • Michelle, D. Froyland, G., and Wu, C. L. 2014. An Integrated Scenario-Based Approach for Robust Aircraft Routing, Crew Pairing and Re-timing. Computers & Operations Research, Vol. 45, pp.68-86. Download
  • Wu, C. L., and Lee, A., 2014. The Impact of Airline Alliance Terminal Co-location on Airport Operations and Terminal Development. Journal of Air Transport Management, Vol 36, pp. 69-77. Download
  • Wu, C. L. and Truong, T., 2014. Improving the IATA Delay Coding System for Enhanced Data Analytics. Journal of Air Transport Management, Vol. 40, pp78-85. Download
  • Chung, Y. S. and Wu, C. L., 2014. Air Market Opening between Taiwan and China: Impacts on Airport and Airline Network Developments in Neighbouring Asia Pacific Countries, in the Air Transport in the Asia Pacific, ed. T. Duval, 199-216. Ashgate Publishing.
  • Koo, T. R., Wu, C. L., and Dwyer, L., 2014. Air Transport and Spatiality of Tourist Flows: The Case of Australia, in the Air Transport in the Asia Pacific, ed. T. Duval, 125-141. Ashgate Publishing.


  • Chung, Y.S., Wu, C.L., and Chiang, W. E., 2013. Air Passengers’ Shopping Motivation and Information Seeking Behaviour. Journal of Air Transport Management, 27, pp.25-28. Download
  • Drabas, T., Wu, C. L., 2013. Modeling Air Carrier Choices With A Segment Specific Cross Nested Logit Model. Journal of Air Transport Management, 32, pp.8-16. Download


  • Koo, T., Wu, C. L., and Dwyer, L. M., 2012. Dispersal of visitors within destinations: descriptive measures and underlying drivers. Tourism Management, Tourism Management, 33 (5), 1209-1219. Download
  • Dunbar, M., Froyland, G. and Wu, C. L., 2012. Integrated aircraft routing and crew pairing for robust airline scheduling. Transportation Science, 46 (2), pp. 204-216. Download


  • Wu, C. L., 2010. Airline Operations and Delay Management- Insignts from Airline Economics, Networks and Strategic Schedule Planning. Ashgate Publishing, ISBN:9780754672937.
  • Koo, T., Wu, C. L., and Dwyer, L. M., 2010. Ground travel mode choices of air arrivals at regional destinations: The significance of tourism attributes and destination contexts. Research in Transportation Economics, V24, pp 44-53. Download
  • Koo, T., Wu, C. L., and Dwyer, L. M., 2010. Transport and Regional Dispersal of Tourists: Is modal substitution a source of conflict between low-fare air services and regional dispersal? Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 49, pp. 106-120. Download


  • Park, JW, Robertson, R., and Wu, CL, 2009. Differences in Air Passengers' Buying Behaviour. Transportation Planning and Technology 32(5), 441-460. Download


  • Wu, C. L., and Carson, D., 2008. Tourist Dispersal Analysis Framework And Its Application In Multiple Destination Travel. Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 46, pp. 311-317. Download
  • Wu, C. L. 2008. Monitoring Aircraft Turnaround Operations — Framework Development, Application and Implications for Airline Operations. Transportation Planning and Technology, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 215-228. See the commercial implementation of the ATMS framework from SITA's Workforce Mobility Solution. Also see another example of the ATMS framework in action from Avtura's Real-Time Aircraft Turnaround Tool. Download


  • Tannock, J. and C. L. Wu, 2007. A Special Issue on: Computer Simulation in Transportation Research. (Editorial) World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 339-342.


  • Wu, C. L (2006) Improving Airline Network Robustness and Operational Reliability by Sequential Optimisation Algorithms. Journal of Network and Spatial Economics, Vol. 6, No.3-4, pp235-251. Download
  • Park, J. W., Robertson, R. and Wu, C. L (2006) The effects of individual dimensions of airline service quality: findings from Australian domestic air passengers. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Vol. 13. No. 2, pp. 161-176. Download
  • Park, J. W., Robertson, R. and Wu, C. L (2006) Modelling the Impact of Airline Service Quality and Marketing Variables on Passengers’ Future Behavioural Intentions. Transportation Planning and Technology, Vol. 29, No. 5, pp. 359-381. Download


  • Wu, C. L (2005) Exploring the Inherent Delays and Operational Reliability of Airline Schedules. Journal of Air Transport Management, Vol. 11, pp273-282. Download
  • Park, J. W., Robertson, R. and Wu, C. L (2005) Investigating the effects of airline service quality on airline image and passengers’ future behavioural intentions: findings from Australian international air passengers. Journal of Tourism Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp2-11. Download


  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2004) Modelling and Optimisation of Aircraft Turnaround Time at an Airport, Transportation Planning and Technology, Vol. 27, No. 1, 47-66. Download
  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2004) Modelling and Simulation of Aircraft Turnaround Operations at Airports, Transportation Planning and Technology, Vol. 27, No. 1, 25-46. Download
  • Park, J. W., Robertson, R. and Wu, C. L (2004) The effect of airline service quality on passengers' behavioural intentions: a Korean case study. Journal of Air Transport Management, Vol. 10, 435-439. Download


  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2003) Flight Schedule Punctuality Control and Management: A Stochastic Approach, Transportation Planning and Technology, Vol. 26, No. 4, 313-330. Download
  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2003) The Punctuality Performance of Aircraft Rotations in a Network of Airports, Transportation Planning and Technology, Vol. 26, No. 5, 417-436. Download


  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2002) A Research Review of Air Traffic Management, Transport Reviews, 1, 115-132. Download
  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2002) Modelling of Aircraft Rotation in a Multiple Airport Environment. Transportation Research 38E, 265-277. Download
  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2002) Towards the Optimisation of the Schedule Reliability of Aircraft Rotations. Journal of Air Transport Management 8, 419-426. Download


  • Wu, C. L. and Caves, R. E (2000) Aircraft Operational Costs and Turnaround Efficiency at Airports, Journal of Air Transport Management 6, 201-208. Download

Teaching Responsibilities

AVIA2601 - Aviation Operations Research - Course Authority
AVIA3201 - Airline Resource Management - Course Authority