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Author Topic: Small Props preferred over A-321?  (Read 1276 times)

was1984

  • Former member
Small Props preferred over A-321?
« on: June 02, 2010, 07:15:48 PM »
I'm beginning to notice some issues with this 'small planes preferred' idea, and how it affects realism in the game.

On one of my routes I'm flying 4 A-321's that completely satisfy the demand of the route, but my competitor is flying a bunch of DH-8D, which is a really small prop plane.  I can't manage to take over the majority of the route demand even though my prices are currently about half off.  I've seen this scenario in several other places, and sometimes I'm the one doing it to someone else with regional jets.

Here's my question....  would anyone actually prefer to fly a 50 passenger prop plane over an A-321?  It doesn't make any sense.  I actually hate flying small regional jets and prop planes, and would much prefer a 737-sized aircraft.  I believe this is the consensus of most business travelers as well.

Why is demand higher on really small aircraft?

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 07:41:33 PM »
http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,21915.0.html

Please read this thread and you will know the answer.

Offline Sigma

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Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 08:14:34 PM »
That's not exactly an "answer".  It may be how sami thinks it works, and it might technically be true, but in reality the results are significantly different and makes no sense at all.

I can see flight frequency playing a role if I've got a single A321 flight a day and it comes at 3pm, and someone else has got 5 flights per day with a DH-8D spread throughout the day.  That makes at least a little sense.  If someone wants to fly in the evening and the only option is a tiny plane because the A321 shows up at 8am, then they're going to take the tiny plane as its the only option anywhere close to their desired time.

But when there's 4 x A321s arriving throughout the day, the fact that someone's got 20 flights with a DH-8D isn't nearly as important anymore.  The A321 has covered the demand throughout the day.  The fact that some little plane is squeezing in between isn't as important at all.  Given the option of flying an A321 @4pm or a DH-8D at 3:30, most people will just take the larger plane, it isn't as big of a deal as waiting until the entire next day just to catch the 'better' flight.  And it certainly isn't so big a deal that the passengers will pay DOUBLE the price just to fly on the flight that "comes more often", but that's exactly the case.

The effect is that people prefer smaller planes.  Maybe not "technically" or explicitly, but they do.  If the 200% rule says that I can put 4xA321 flights or 20xDH-8D flights, I better be putting on the tiny planes because that's the only way I'm effectively going to "take" the route.  You can argue that, before the 200% rule, that it really didn't make a difference because I could, if I was crazy enough, throw an equal 20 flights of A321s on there to combat those 20 tiny planes -- but that's not an option anymore.

I understand why demand isn't broken down by hour, that's an immense task.  But the simple preference for more flights should be amended so that as long as your flights are spread throughout the day, that there is no effect of someone else flying even more flights on smaller aircraft.  If you fulfill 100% of demand with 4 flights at 7am, 11am, 4pm, and 8pm, then there's absolutely no reason why someone flying 20 times per day should steal a majority of the pax on that route flying tiny planes that people would logically not prefer to fly on, and certainly not at twice the price.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 08:18:50 PM by Sigma »

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 08:31:49 PM »
I killed all domestic routes within 1100nm of Fantasy Airline (was based in Newark) with ATR-72-500 and he used B737. Also look at the routes from mTravel, also based at Newark, with his MD80 on the same routes.

That this is a thing of frequency and not of aircraft size and much more variables are important is discussed in the other thread, this is why I linked it. So it's not because I'm lazy  ;)


Hower, in my opinion you are right and the system should be like you said. Personally I would always prefer a bigger jet aircraft than a small prop, even it's a Dash8, but things in AWS aren't working like this at the moment.


« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 08:38:19 PM by Curse »

GDK

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2010, 12:17:58 AM »
Bigger bird is more comfortable. Less noise, almost 0 vibration, wide space (even only visually but that makes human beings to feel better).....
But in AWS we need props to fight for market share. If the route have no competitor, then you better fly bigger plane to save some airports slot fees and staff salaries.

was1984

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 05:00:35 PM »
I don't really buy the explanation sami posted in that other thread either.  There has to be some reason that on a route that I have regional jets and larger aircraft on, the RJs will fill into the mid 90%s, while the larger aircraft will languish somewhere in the 60%s.  If it's as sami says and this is due to the extra number of seats, that means there is some inherent bias in the code toward smaller planes, even if that isn't intended.

90% occupancy in a 50 seater means all but 5 seats were filled.  90% occupancy in a 200 seater means that 20 seats could be empty.  It doesn't make sense that on the same route, a small plane would fill all but 5 seats while a larger plane would have 80 empty seats.  You'd think all 45 of those passengers would hear about the 80 empty seats on the much more comfortable plane and rebook their flights.

GDK

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2010, 05:37:47 PM »
I don't really buy the explanation sami posted in that other thread either. 

<<all things are also not as nearly easy / simple to make work just by saying that "this and that should be made" - but as you know development is an (slow) ongoing project..>>

That was what sami said in another thread of the relevant issue.

Offline Sami

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Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2010, 05:46:17 PM »
the RJs will fill into the mid 90%s, while the larger aircraft will languish somewhere in the 60%s.
...
You'd think all 45 of those passengers would hear about the 80 empty seats on the much more comfortable plane and rebook their flights.

You are looking the whole thing in a completely wrong way, like many others. I did note of this on other topic of the same issue too, but shortly:

The LF % is irrelevant in such comparison. Naturally a smaller plane will have a higher LF if same number of seats is (roughly) sold as in larger plane. Paxes also do not know how many seats has been booked on to a flight and it's also irrelevant. Each plane does have a comfort and speed rating but Q400 for example is as good and comfortable as BAe 146 in the eyes of a regular Joe Pax.

The system counts HOW MANY people will buy the ticket to each flight, based on variables like price and dep/arr time etc. You should look at the actual number of seats sold in each flight and not the LF if planes are not same sized, otherwise makes no sense in comparing them.

was1984

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2010, 06:57:38 PM »
So what you are saying is that the seat demand of a flight is unrelated to how many seats are available on a flight?

In my example (and I've seen this on multiple occasions), I could have three primetime flights, one with say an A321, an A300, and another with small regional jet with 50 seats.  The regional jet might be at 95% LF, the A321 might be at 80% LF, and the A300 might be at 60% LF.  My base airport is Haneda, so some routes have 10k+ passengers demanded, and I've seen this.

If I'm understanding you correctly, there are a certain number of passengers that are willing to fly in a given flight, even if the overall demand is thousands of passengers.  Am I understanding correctly?  If so, this is a huge bias toward small aircraft.

Offline Sigma

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Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 11:12:47 PM »
You are looking the whole thing in a completely wrong way, like many others. I did note of this on other topic of the same issue too, but shortly:

The LF % is irrelevant in such comparison. Naturally a smaller plane will have a higher LF if same number of seats is (roughly) sold as in larger plane. Paxes also do not know how many seats has been booked on to a flight and it's also irrelevant. Each plane does have a comfort and speed rating but Q400 for example is as good and comfortable as BAe 146 in the eyes of a regular Joe Pax.

The system counts HOW MANY people will buy the ticket to each flight, based on variables like price and dep/arr time etc. You should look at the actual number of seats sold in each flight and not the LF if planes are not same sized, otherwise makes no sense in comparing them.

The number of seats sold on each flight is just as irrellevant as the LF, sami.  There's only one thing that matters -- and that's which plane will yield me the most passengers with my "allotment" of seats.  How many seats I sell on a given flight is completely irrelevant, what my LF is is irrelevant; all that matters when competing for a route is how many seats I can sell in a given day.

If a route has a demand of 1000, you are only allowed to supply 2000 seats.  Period.  The ultimate point of competition is to get as many of those 1000 pax as you possibly can.

You can choose to supply that with either 5 flights of 400 seats, 10 flights of 200 seats, or 20 flights of 100 seats.

In real-life, any one of those options would have merit.  Different pricing models and/or different cost structures would come into play between them.  But in AWS there is only one "right" answer.  And that is 20 flights of 100 seats.  Every other option is a LOSING one.  You can't effectively compete on operating costs, competing on price is minimally effective at best, ultimately only competiting on the size of the aircraft works.  You can say that it's not a preference for the size of the aircraft itself but rather the flight frequency if you want, but that's exactly the same thing.  Since there is a cap on allowed seat supply, "more frequency" MEANS "smaller aircraft".  They're essentially interchangeable terminology.

Sure you can say that those 20 flights cost more money to operate, and you'd be right, but the sheer fact is that the cost of doing so isn't detrimental to the benefit that one receives.  LFs stay higher on smaller aircraft, costs are more easily covered, prices can stay MUCH higher, and profitability is maintained longer than the opponent operating fewer (but much more expensive) aircraft at lower seat prices to even hope to compete, though they will lose to the ultimate power of the smaller aircraft operator.  And with the way margins are so overblown there is no deterrent to operating money-losing routes that there is in reality.  When margins are slim as they are in real-life, slight cost differences make all the difference and such cost-intensive ventures wouldn't last long, but here, for a well-run business, the difference between the varying options is simply the difference between a mind-blowing 50% margin and a slightly-less-so 25% one.

Find me an example, ever, where in real-life one airline combated another on a route by going on the offense with a huge fleet of smaller aircraft.  And, what's more, they did it while charging a higher price.  And not only did it, but did it successfully.  Because that's exactly how it works here.  Anyone who knows anything about competition in this game knows that's far and away the most effective form of "competition".
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 11:24:41 PM by Sigma »

GDK

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 11:48:02 PM »
The system counts HOW MANY people will buy the ticket to each flight, based on variables like price and dep/arr time etc. You should look at the actual number of seats sold in each flight and not the LF if planes are not same sized, otherwise makes no sense in comparing them.

Why a smaller aircraft with higher ticket price will carry more passenger than a bigger aircraft with lower ticket price? The fact that passenger prefer smaller plane in AWS is undeniable.

Offline Sigma

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Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2010, 12:43:03 AM »
Why a smaller aircraft with higher ticket price will carry more passenger than a bigger aircraft with lower ticket price? The fact that passenger prefer smaller plane in AWS is undeniable.

It won't carry "more".  It will just get "more full".  There's a difference.

What will make it carry "more" is if you fly there 3 times (let's assume it takes 3 flights to equal the same number of seats as the bigger aircraft).  Sami's contention there is that the reasoning is that there are more flights, therefore you're more likely to have flights when people want them, therefore they're more likely to fly with you.

Let's say you've got a route that you put an A300 on, and let's say it's got 300 seats.  That plane gets 70% full, meaning 210 people fly on it.

You're not happy with that so you take the A300 off and you put an F100 on it and let's say that's got 100 seats.  The F100 then gets 90% full.  It seems "better", but you're really only flying 90 people, leaving the rest for the competition.

That's where sami's point effectively ends. And that much makes sense. The problem lies beyond that though.

Where the problem lies is that if you fly the F100 three times and each time you get 90%, now you've moved 270 people.  Sami claims it's due to frequency (which makes sense to a point -- see my first post at the top), some people would claim that it's a preference for the equipment.  Frankly it's a completely moot point because, in a world where you are seat-limited on supply, they're exactly the same thing.

You've supplied exactly the same number of seats, but you've moved more passengers with the F100.  That means the F100 is more effective.  And when you are limited, by rules, on how many seats you are allowed to supply on a route, supplying with the smaller plane is always the way to go.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 12:47:00 AM by Sigma »

ucfknightryan

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2010, 04:51:39 AM »
Sami, if I'm understanding your posts here and in the other thread correctly, the relationship between flight frequency and the share of passengers you attract is a linear relationship like the one in the image attached to this post where:

PA is airline passengers
FA is airline flights on route
PT is total passengers on route
FT is total flights on route

and assuming that all other factors such as price, company image, and aircraft comfort are equal.  And therefore if all competitors supply enough seats to satisfy demand, market share is roughly determined by the percentage of departures operated by each airline.  So if Airline A operates twice as many departures as Airline B it will always have ~67% market share assuming equal comfort, price, and CI, no matter if the number of departures is 2 and 1, or 40 and 20.

This does exactly match the market share percentages two of my routes in ATB where both I and another airline provide enough seats to satisfy all demand.

Is this correct?

GDK

  • Former member
Re: Small Props preferred over A-321?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2010, 06:50:18 AM »
It won't carry "more".  It will just get "more full".  There's a difference.

I know the difference and I'm not talking about higher Load Factor. I'm saying more passenger carried.
Just like what you mentioned there 3 F100 with 90% LF carry more than a 70% LF A300. But all those 3 F100 are departing exactly the same minute. In term of frequency, there is a huge difference between 3 flights spreading throughout the whole day and 3 flights flying at the same time. We all understand that it is actually no difference with 1 single flight of an A300.

Before I quit ATB, I was flying from WMKK. I replaced my B747-100 on WMKK-WSSS with 3 B737-200Ad. All my B737 got LF from 60%-80% while previously the B747-100 is only making a LF of 33%. All the flights of B737 and B747 were in the same time departing from WMKK at 0700 hours. I remember that the capacity of the 747 is more than 300 and the 737 can carry 120 people. 70% of 3 737 is 252 and 33% of the 747 (assume the capacity is 350) is 116. That is a great difference...

Again, this is related to frequency. If frequency is so important in this game, then the effect of frequency should be more realistic and the solution is to broke down the daily demand into hours throughout the whole day. If my competitor grab the market share by higher frequency flights spreading evenly the whole day, I'll keep my mouth shut and work harder to improve my performance. But if he steal the market share with more flights but exactly the same hour, then it make no sense. I know it is not easy and it will make the game complicated, sami mentioned about that in another thread. But I just curious that if he can make the passenger flow to slower down between 2300-0500 hours, why can't he use the same method to alter the passenger flow so that 3 flights of F100 at the same minute will not make sense in the game.

In my opinion, the game is working in some method same/something similar to the formula given above. Some of us really hope for something to be done to make it more realistic because 'simulator' is/should be real. But everything is up to sami.

 

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