What is Turnaround Time ?

Turnaround time, also known as turnaround or TOT, refers to the amount of time that a flight spends at an airport between landing and departing again. This time period includes various activities such as unloading passengers and baggage, refueling, cleaning and maintenance, loading new passengers and baggage, and completing other necessary preparations for the next flight.

In aviation, turnaround time is an important metric as it directly affects the efficiency and profitability of an airline. A shorter TAT allows for more flights to be operated each day, increasing the utilization of the aircraft and reducing the cost per flight.

Turnaround Time
Lufthansa Apron Maintenance Scene

Why Does Turnaround Time Matter?

Airlines love a quick turnaround! It means:

  • More flights per day: Imagine fitting in an extra flight if your plane gets ready faster.
  • Happier passengers: Nobody likes delays! A swift turnaround reduces waiting on the ground.
  • More money for airlines: Keeping planes flying means more revenue!

What Affects Turnaround Time?

Think of turnaround time like a recipe. The “ingredients” that affect it include:

  • Plane size: Bigger planes take longer to clean and fill with passengers.
  • Passenger numbers: Lots of people getting on and off means more time needed.
  • Baggage handling: Speedy baggage systems help speed things up.
  • Airport layout: Busy airports with limited gates can slow down turnaround times.
  • Plane maintenance: Even quick checks can add some time.

How Do Airlines Shorten Turnaround Time?

Airlines are all about efficiency. Here’s how they keep turnaround times tight:

  • Preparing in advance: Food and cleaning supplies are often loaded before the plane even lands.
  • Multiple doors: Boarding and disembarking passengers happen faster with more than one door open.
  • Smart baggage systems: Efficient sorting and delivery of luggage saves valuable minutes.
  • Planned maintenance: Airlines schedule quick checks during turnaround times when possible.

By optimizing turnaround time, airlines keep their flights on schedule, passengers happy, and their business running smoothly.

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