I totally agree. Airlines that start at the top 20 world busiest airports have a huge advantage in that they can grow exponentially while those of us that start at smaller airports must grow slowly.
I am in the middle of a battle of attrition at LGA. A huge airline, which had started up at ORD and grew very fast has opened a hub at LGA and is forcing me out. I had a relatively successful airline and most of the slots at LGA were gone. Then one of LGA's original airlines went bankrupt, which opened up a ton of slots that my new competitor ate up quickly due to his huge size. There is no way I can compete with him, especially since I can't go open up a hub at ORD.....
I know of the airline you're speaking of - they're trying to clean my clock at MSP, as well.
They may succeed now that I've tried to open a second base.
As for the expenses incurred in setting up another base, as mentioned in another post...I have around 55 aircraft and I have about 100 employees per aircraft, which seems outright ridiculous for an airline of my size. My personnel costs went up nearly a million by the time four aircraft were based at my first hub.
To put it another way, I may have signed my own death warrant.
If you look at two examples of what I've got in my backyard, you'll see what I mean about personnel. Delta has around 750 aircraft and they actually have about 100 employees per aircraft (about 73k employees). That makes sense...for a global airline with many hubs. Pinnacle, which is a Delta subsidiary, has 142 aircraft and only 4,300 employees - they're nearly three times my fleet size and they have fewer employees. I've found other examples in doing some basic searching on the Internet.
As one of my alliance co-founders noted in a recent post when he established his first hub - airlines in this game are an awfully good jobs program.
It strikes me that this might be a result of the whole "not handling small airlines" issue that's been raised elsewhere. It makes it somewhat more difficult for smaller airlines to even contemplate a new base.
I also have another question - why am I paying millions upon millions to establish a base? Any good business (at least in the U.S.) would lease everything if at all possible (office space, hangars, etc.) - it would be a tax-deductible business expense. Does the $18m I paid to establish a base mean I bought buildings? It sure feels like it. And it leaves me scratching my head.
I'm hoping I don't have to bankrupt again - QualiTeam is doing well right now. If I do, I'll probably not return until the next new game - it'll just be too frustrating for me to keep playing in this world. I'll probably withdraw from my new base should things get too horrible, but that'll just cap what is feeling like a $40m misadventure I could have lived without - and would probably leave me on life support for at least the next year. With the previously-noted competition trying to smother me, I'm not sure I'd make it even then.