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Author Topic: Uncompetative practices  (Read 1283 times)


  • Former member
Uncompetative practices
« on: December 03, 2009, 07:44:26 AM »
I know that this is a game and that people want to play and win as best they can, but some things have gotten out of hand. For example, Burj Al-Arab is dumping massive capacity in excess of 200% of demand on several routes most likely just to take up slots. I'd love to play in this game, but considering actions like these it's basically impossible to start right now and the game is only 33% complete. Perhaps a new Modern times game could be started?

Offline Sigma

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Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 08:49:16 AM »
200% is hardly dumping.

Demand is only an estimate, and it's not an estimate at lower than standard cost or perfect CI/RI.  With 100 RI and 100 CI and low enough pricing, it is possible to achieve up to 150% of the estimated demand on a route.  You can run planes in excess of 90% LF, quite profitably, even approaching 150% of demand.  So 200% is hardly excessive or anti-competitive.

And one big consideration is that, as a result of 9/11, demand plumetted in-game.  What was once a perfectly reasonable 125-150% of demand on a route, is now over 200% of demand due to the fact that demand has fallen.  I've got more than a few routes that I've got that much demand on, and there's not even anyone else on the route for me to be dumping on, it's just the way things turned out here recently with the demand rop.

If he can, and he has a need elsewhere, he might move those now-excessive planes to newer routes.   Or he may just decide to wait out the demand drop if he's got the cash.  I've noticed his financial growth seems to have slowed recently, and the demand drop probably hasn't helped matters.  The upcoming fuel costs skyrocketing won't help either.  He'll either make it just fine, proving his strategy is viable or, like many others have in the past year, he'll bankrupt and you'll be able to capitalize.

And I would have to completely disagree that it's "basically impossible" to start a game right now.  Countless major US airports have little competition, particularly due to bankruptcies and/or simple quits in the past year.  Probably 3/4 of the largest airlines in the game have BK'd or quite in the past year, leaving huge gaps in supply.  I can't speak for European or Asian airports as I'm not checking any this game, but I have to assume the situation is somewhat similar there.

Hell, Chicago O'Hare sat completely empty for almost 2 game-years with almost every route to it completely open -- which if you look at my Route Map you can see I certainly capitalized on.  Only recently did an airline start there but there's plenty of room for another, as there are still countless major routes available.  
Air Love, which was a Top 5 airline, recently BK'd leaving IAH completely open (he's just started over, but still very small).  
Yankee out of DFW, a Top 10 airline, was driven into bankruptcy, leaving me there alone -- I've got hundreds of flights to locations over 250/day that I still don't even fly to yet and likely never will and well over half the slots still available, leaving plenty of room for another.
I think there were 3-4 major top airlines out of ATL -- now there's just a single one, with plenty of demand and slots.
SEA is completely open with only 2 tiny (1-2 plane) airlines there.
PDX is completely open.
MSP is only home to a couple small airlines.

And so on, and so on.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 09:07:58 AM by Sigma »


  • Former member
Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 09:31:33 AM »
Correction he is running Dubai-Doha at 400% of demand and Dubai-Riyahd at 800%. you can try and justify it, but he is clearly just sending out his long haul aircraft between long haul flights to these airports to take up slots. there is no way he is turning a profit from sending 8000 seats worth of 744s on a 600 mile hop to Riyahd when the demand is 800.

I'm aware that many airports in the US are open, but I've done the domestic carrier thing in previous games and i want to try a longhaul Emirates esque airline this go around. I chose Dubai knowing full well that going up against Burj would be a huge challenge, but I didn't realize he was forcing everyone out of Dubai by taking up such huge numbers of slots. Note that I am not complaining about the capacity on the longhaul routes themselves as those are obviously going to be competitive, but I can't even get of the ground because of this.

Offline mtnlion

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Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 02:02:42 PM »
And you wouldn't schedule your planes flying to nearby airports if they had free time?  :D I have many routes where the LF is near 30% and even those routes are generating profit. It's all about utilization...
Why did you choose Dubai if you knew you had no chance? I am based in KJFK and I have always fun when new airlines are trying to start there. I never even compete with them on any routes (maybe other airlines based in KJFK do?) and they always die... Within 72h (IRL time) they BK because they just can't find any good routes nor airplanes (with the start up money).
I personally have at least 10 airports I would like to use as a hub, but unfortunately only one hub per airline is possible at the moment, so I try to choose carefully. When I join to a game world in the middle of the game, I start from smaller airport. In the next game world try to be faster in the beginning of the game and you will end up being the biggest/healthiest airline in the hub you chose.
And it is true that the slots are problem! They are a big problem in the real life as well! Did you know that US Airways is flying LaGuardia-Philadelphia, which is 83 NM,  14 times a day?!!! Those flights are not flown because of the demand...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 02:11:39 PM by mtnlion »

Offline Sigma

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Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 02:15:50 PM »
1>  You don't slot-hog using major long-haul aircraft.  You could hardly hog anything that way.  It's called aircraft utilization, and you can tell by the way he often books all his flights one day at a time that he's out to maximize his aircraft utilization.

2>  And your planes "can't even get off the ground" because of the slot situation?  Give me a break.  There's only 2 hours out of the entire day that you can't create a flight 7 days/week.  At this point in the game, for a major airport with only 35 slots/hour, that's actually really open.  So if his intent is to hog the slots, he's doing a really poor job of it.  If your intent is to operate as a long-haul, then time of day of your operations matters significantly less as those pax aren't even remotely as time-sensitive, and surely you can manage to get your planes off the ground sometimes outside of 6:00-8:00am.

3>  Of those 2 hours of the day that you can't get a flight, only ONE flight is departing for Riyadh, and that's with a small A320.  All his other flights to Riyadh are departing at none prime-times (0200-0400 or 1200-2200) when there are PLENTY of slots available.  So, again, if his intent is to hog up slots flying to Riyadh, he's doing an exceptionally poor job of it.

He's very clearly putting his planes on that flight, not to eat up slots, as eating up slots at 0200am is pretty worthless, but for one of 2 reasons that are completely valid.  He's either simply flying there so that his planes can move someone in that time-frame, which is common and with the low cost-structure of this game, profitable until you reach an exceedingly high level of demand.  Or, more likely, he's doing it to position his planes at Riyadh for a long-range departure out of that airport; this is particularly obvious when you look at the departure times out of Dubai -- these planes are arriving at Riyadh in time for high demand periods of the day.  It's a cost-effective strategy as the planes only fly empty a relatively short amount of time and, since he's eating up largely useless slots at 2am, there's zero issues with doing that in regards to competitiveness.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 02:28:27 PM by Sigma »


  • Former member
Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 03:30:28 PM »
Thanks Sigma, thanks Mtnlion.  You clearly understand the business logic behind my route structure and I appreciate you trying to point out that there are clear reasons for doing what I do. :)

Blair21088 it isn't wise to launch an airline in a competitive hub (3 airlines) and then to "pick a fight" with your biggest neighbor.  Especially if you want to create an Emirates type airline and one already exists (you should have started in RMA, where no one is in DXB).  In fact, if I was truly an uncompetitive airline shouldn't I have been alone by now in DXB?  Come on, give me some credit, if I wanted to hog slots, wouldn't I have acquired 50 used Cessnas and fly them back and forth to AUH (62NM).  Also, with ~55% market share (M/S), I only used ~46% of the slots.  Royal Orchid who has ~11% M/S uses 15% of the slots and Alhambra who has <1% of M/S uses 1.2% of slots, so clearly I am not the "big slot hog here".

Also, if I was such an uncompetitive jerk, don't you think I would also "dump" my extra capacity on my COMPETITORS' routes???  Next time, send me a PM, before claiming something that isn't there.

Edit: Royal Orchid, sadly had to BK today (while I was writing my reply).  He has been with me since the beginning of the game and he will be missed. :'(  I will now erroneously place the blame on Jet X, who's anti-competitive behavior on the highly-slot restricted and ultra-competitive DXB-LHR route, pushed RO over the edge. >:( 

Offline Sami

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Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009, 04:23:02 PM »
FYI, this "flying to rebase" issue will be sorted when multiple-HUB feature is added (to v.1.2).


  • Former member
Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2009, 09:17:31 PM »
Since no one read my second post, I'll point out again that I knew I was facing a challenge and I wanted that. I've been playing this game for a long time now and I'm not sitting here screaming that I can't make a profit trying to fly London-new york or something. I merely tried to point out a situation in which it is obvious that there are aircraft flying several routes in such numbers that they cannot possibly be making a profit and seemed clearly to be just killing time between long haul flights. These are the routes I'm talking about:

Route Pair-------Demand------Burj Capacity------Times

and ohh look, when do most of his flights from Europe get in? 2300.

I never said he was taking up all the slots, nor did I say he was being blatant by just shuttling a small aircraft back and forth, but this seems obvious to me. Again, I'm not complaining about the competition on the long haul routes here.


  • Former member
Re: Uncompetative practices
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 01:25:08 AM »
Hello Blair,

Let me take a different approach, since you appear to be missing our key point.

You are looking at one leg on a multi leg route (A-B-C-B-A) and if you like, yes for that leg I am losing money, since it is a positioning flight (A-B).  That works out to be a loss of about $7500.  The second leg of that route (B-C) is not a positioning flight and so it has a gross profit of ~$200K.  The third leg is the same (C-B) and the fourth leg (B-A) is another positioning flight with the same loss of $7500.  So in total this one route has a combined gross profit of $385K.  Not too bad, if I must say so myself and far from the loss you say my planes are making (I rotate 7 planes through multiple route patterns that allow me to maximize my utilization for that week, as Sigma correctly pointed out).  Also you did not show that the Europe flights and these flights are done by the same planes.  In fact, most of the planes I have flying back and forth to Europe are mid-ranged 777s, 757s and 767s, not long-ranged 744s, A340s and 77Es.

Now, if you need more details.  This is one (1) flight (#1467), which goes DXB-RUH-YYZ-RUH-DXB on a 744.  As you can see it would be impossible to fly from RUH to YYZ, unless I positioned my plane in RUH first (if you know of another way to get my plane there, then please let me know).  In other words I am flying N/S L-H routes out of AUH, RUH and DOH, not flights back and forth between DXB and those 3 airports while I wait to fly other L-H flights out of DXB like you claim I clearly do (Actually, my S-H planes (A320s) do go back an forth, but because they are smaller and passengers prefer their times and size, they actually have 80+ LFs and make quite a nice profit for me ;D).

So hopefully, you now see that you are incorrect in your conclusion (back and forth flights, "clearly to be just killing time between long haul flights" and to take up slots) and how the change that Sami pointed out will help to alleviate the positioning flight, since we will be able to have multiple hubs (although the multi-leg flight will disappear). :)


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