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Cargo Route Development Optimization (Classroom, 3 days)

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It is imperative for airlines to economize every single cent and employ their assets efficiently to cut down expenses and enhance profitability. This involves meticulous analysis of information and intelligent judgments. One of the fundamental elements, which define the future of an airline, is route profitability.

This course provides you with a helicopter view of methods to determine whether a specific course of action is rewarding or not, during a given time period. It will empower you to make rapid decisions on whether to alter, supplement or exclude routes from your network or schedule.

This course is available at IATA Training Centers, Regional Training Partner locations, and on-demand as in-company training.

Course format

  • This classroom course provides 3 days (24 hours) of instruction delivered by an official IATA Instructor
  • Student performance will be based on an examination


  • Participants should have prior knowledge of air cargo business
  • Recommended level is Intermediate and Management
  • The recommended level of language proficiency is ICAO Operational Level 4 for courses in English or equivalent for other languages.

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What you will learn

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Acquire an in-depth managerial realization how profitability depends on network and schedule planning
  • Develop, maintain and implement a network strategy plan aimed at achieving the performance targets defined
  • Maximize the network-wide profit through flight selection, aircraft rotation planning and routing
  • Understand the delicate balance between route profitability and network contribution
  • Be aware of key elements for profitability
  • Identify cost and revenue optimization opportunities
  • Be familiar with cost elements and cost allocations

Course content

  • Network and schedule planning methodologies
  • Cargo airline economics and dynamics
  • Flight operation cost structure
  • Pros and cons of hub-systems and deregulation
  • Forecasting systematics
  • Traffic flow, schedule design and planning
  • Processes involving network optimization
  • Data analytics including period type, operational information, traffic type, cost, revenue and profit
  • KPI Structures including cost KPIs, operational KPIs, revenue KPI´s and other KPI´s
  • Tools to measure and monitor route profitability
  • Post flight analyses

Download the course outline


  • Business simulation game
  • Case study and group presentation

Who should attend

This course is recommended for:

  • Cargo executives, management, high-potential and future leaders
  • Functional managers recently transitioned or will soon transition into a business leadership position

Certificate awarded

An IATA Certificate of Completion is awarded to participants obtaining a grade of 70% or higher on all exercises and exams. A special distinction is awarded to participants obtaining a grade of 90% or higher.

This course is a step toward earning an IATA Diploma in:

Additional information

About IATA Classroom Training
We train more than 10,000 aviation professionals annually through our global network of IATA Training Centers, Regional Training Partners, and in private in-company sessions. Our 200+ classroom courses are developed using IATA’s unique industry insight and delivered by IATA Instructors, experts in their fields. More

Further training
Graduates of this course can apply for the Harvard ManageMentor© (HMM) distance learning program at a special graduate price.

Subject areas

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