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Dynamic Routing Engine

For those instances when a direct flight is not available or does not meet your shipment needs, a "route" that involves one or more connections must be generated. Finding routes that meet your objectives is a very complex process that needs to consider a variety of factors. Complicating matters is the fact that some of the data needed for a routing decision is static, while other data needs to be dynamic in order for an informed decision.

At the core of the Pathfinder platform is the Pathfinder Routing Engine, enabling you to identify and optimize decisions based on your shipping objectives. We believe it is the most powerful and comprehensive flight routing engine available. A set of 5 different flight scheduling API commands puts the power of our flight schedule database and advanced dynamic routing engine within your enterprise.

How It Works
Most flight schedule sources such as flight guides, CD-ROM data, and schedules available on the Internet, focus primarily on direct flight schedules. For those times when connecting flight information is offered, it is typically “statically” generated, meaning the provider of your flight data has decided to build a fixed number of static connections. This approach yields a large data footprint and limited (often irrelevant) lists of connecting flights.

The Pathfinder Routing Engine approaches this problem from a completely different perspective. We believe that each flight decision involves a different set of requirements and constraints, and therefore you need to be able to create routes dynamically in order to meet your needs. Here is how the Pathfinder Routing Engine works:

  • We start with the best source of direct flight data from OAG
  • We expose a flexible and extensive set of weighted parameters, filtering options and connection logic controls, allowing you to identify important considerations for your particular shipment
  • The engine generates a list of flights that match your criteria – sorted and “scored” according to how well each flight fits the requirements you specified
Because the routes are built dynamically, finding the best flight options for a specific set of requirements has never been so easy. Plus, through the integration of flight results with other relevant information such as weather forecasts, airport delays and flight on-time performance statistics, you can easily identify shipment risks. The result is faster, better scheduling decisions, which enhances the service you provide to your customers and improves your bottom line.

Routing Engine Controls
Listed below are many of the weighted parameters, filtering options and connection logic controls that have been built into the Pathfinder Routing Engine. By using these controls, you can identify those factors that are most important in your decision-making process. Most of the controls listed in this section are optional, and therefore not required for making a flight search request. However, limiting the search to consider only those flights or connections that make sense for your particular application is a powerful tool for finding the best flight schedule options available.


Weighted Parameter
Benefit


Departure/Arrival time


Control how the engine scores flights based on flexible departure or arrival time parameters

Transit time

Weighting transit time will result in a higher score for flights and connections with shorter total transit time

Fewest connections

Flights with fewer connections are scored higher than flights with more connections

Preferred carriers

One or more preferred carriers can be specified which will score flights and connections higher if they include those airlines




Connection Filters
Benefit


Include/exclude carriers


Restrict a flight search to a list of one or more carriers, or exclude a list of one or more carriers from the search

Carrier type (cargo/passenger/both)

Restrict a search to cargo only carriers, thereby eliminating flights that cannot be used for a particular shipment

Exclude code shares

Eliminate flights that are code share duplicates

Exclude commuter flights

Allows for the inclusion or exclusion of flights classified as commuter flights

Limit by equipment type (wide body and jet)

For heavy freight, consider only wide-body aircraft or limit search to jet propulsion aircraft only

Include/exclude multiple airports

Filter flights that connect through a list of one or more airports thereby reducing airport specific risks

Exclude multiple carriers

Eliminate flights involving more than one carrier, thereby reducing risks associated with change of carrier

Enforce interline agreements

If multiple carriers are allowed, build connections only when there is an interline agreement between carriers.

Flexible connection time logic

Specify passenger MCT rules for counter-to-counter, or specify your own connection time requirements

Control number of connections

Specify the maximum number of connections to consider for a given shipment



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