Maybe I overstated slightly. However, you operate out of a large airport which is guaranteed a reasonable demand to a large number of destinations.
I may operate out of DFW right now, and do most of the time, but there's not a strategy in this game that I haven't tried and dominated at one time or another. And first and foremost I am probably the pioneer, and certainly the one that refined and extensively used, the small plane kick-your-butt-with-frequency "strategy".
I joined the game late (my first full world) and had to pick a Cat 4 airport to allow a certain freedom from competition at the start. As a result, demand for regional non-hub airports from here is low - often 30-50/day. Therfore I need access to hubs to make sensible profit and allow growth, but my core market cannot support anything larger than a 737, and more often ATR 42/72 sized aircraft. Therefore, if a large hub operator who can decides to "fill in" with a VLA at rock bottom fares, my higher profit routes are wiped out.
The smallest routes that a VLA can operate on with the 200% rules are routes with demand of about 200/day. And that's with only a single trip.
That's 4 trips per day with an ATR, and that's with no oversupply on your part. With 4 trips per day compared to that VLA's 1 trip per day, your planes will be flying easily about 85% full barring any differences in your CI. Big planes are absolutely, positively NOT going to "blow you out of the water". It's not only false, it's the complete opposite
I guarantee it. I do it every single game-world. I kick the crap out of huge airlines with little planes and frequency. I do it over and over and over. Little routes of 150/day that I fly with 2 x F100s or 3 x Saabs vs a competitors single 737 flight, or flights of 4000/day that I fly with 50 F100s per day vs 12 x A300s flights. It's all the same. I can take a route that's already got 400% demand on it supplied by 2 players at their max 200% each with a bunch of 737 and larger planes, throw my F100s on it for another 100% demand for myself, and my F100s will be flying 70%+ full all day long and turning a nice profit on a route that's sitting at 500% supply. Give me about 3 game-months to earn the RI, and with just 100% of demand supplied I'll grab an easy 2/3rds of the entire traffic, leaving the incumbents with 400% demand fighting over the other 1/3rd and empty medium and large planes.
And that's going against the common 737/A320 narrow-bodies. VLA are even easier. Give me a competitor flying wide-bodies and I'll virtually empty
their planes by flying Saabs and F100s on their routes. I can drop the opposing marketshare and LF on a wide-body into the teens
in just a few game-months using little planes.
Your main problem in the situation you describe isn't beating the widebody on marketshare. It's having a competitor that really cares if they lose money on that route or not. People in AWS are dead-set on flying planes 24/7 even if that plane is losing money on some route. They may not care that they're losing money on your route, so even if you
are blowing them
out of the water, which you'll almost certainly be doing unless your airline is grossly mismanaged, they don't do anything about it and stay on the route regardless.
And anyone dumping pricing against you with a VLA is just being stupid and flushing money down the drain. Passengers are not price-sensitive in AWS. I've tried flying A300s on routes dominated by smaller planes and I've tried it by giving away the seats for just $5 -- I got virtually no impacts to my LFs at all by lowering the pricing. I never, ever
charge anything less than Standard pricing and I reset my pricing to standard default every couple real-days.
As an example, a route where 3 airlines each serve ~100% of the demand each (give or take a few %)... The guy flying once per day with an A306 has just 5% of the market, a guy flying twice a day with 737 has 17%, and me flying 7 times per day with a Saab has 78%. The guy who came in with a VLA like the 306 is about as far from blowing me out of the water as you can get. In fact, as one who is usually the largest A306 operator in a game and very familiar with its costing and competitive ability (or lack thereof in a head-to-head environment) that flight is hemorrhaging cash for him I have no doubt.