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Author Topic: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease  (Read 1513 times)

blair21088

  • Former member
As a major airline just leased 50 new a380s I thought I'd finally post my thoughts on one of the main reasons this game gets stale and the same few airlines always win. The ability to continually lease new planes plus the first 4 months being free are the main reason these games get dull.

First, it allows you to expand extremely rapidly by earning what in many cases is double the eventual revenue a plane will earn once the lease kicks in. This creates a growth curve that you must stay on to be competitive and makes such a huge difference that it is practically the sole factor in determining how well you will do. Falling of this growth curve for any reason, be it to add a new fleet type, buy an aircraft, or anything other than leasing a new plane will cause you to fall behind.

Second, he 4 month window gives the illusion that certain routes are profitable when they are in fact not, or barely so, which only hurts new or less experienced players at the start of games. Many players don't make the connection between the sudden downturn of their airline and the fact that all their aircraft are out of the 4 month free money stage.

Third, the ability to lease brand new aircraft needs to be limited in some way. A player can lease 20+ brand new planes for the price of purchasing 1 and be guaranteed a steady stream of planes solely for the sake of ordering them. But as long as you receive a new plane at least once every 4 months you will be swimming in money with nothing better to do than order even more planes. The only time its really worth it to purchase an aircraft is when you have spare money floating around and get bored.

Every game follows the same pattern over and over again because of the nature of leasing aircraft in the game. If players were incentivized to actually purchase aircraft, then orders would actually require some strategy to work and fleet planning would be a real part of the game. Leasing does allow for very fast growth, which is exciting and fun, but as it is now the growth is simply too fast and leads to very boring second halves of game worlds.

I propose two solutions to this issue.

1) Eliminate the ability to lease new aircraft entirely, but add in game leasing companies that will order new aircraft and lease them to players at market prices. This solution is the best in my opinion, but also the most radical. It allows for players to still lease new planes while also making the used market more worthwhile.

2) Create an administrative 'fee' that grows exponentially with each leased aircraft. This allows young airlines to grow rapidly, but will eventually become an unbearable cost if you try to build an entire airline on leased planes.

That's enough for now... comments? am I solving a problem most people don't think exists?

Offline Sami

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 08:19:41 AM »
- First 4 months are not "free" by any means, just pre-paid.

- All airlines are entitled to buy or lease the number of aircraft they require, or think they require. I don't see why should there be some arbitary limit on how many orders one can have, or something similar?  (well, there actually is a limit, but it's like 500+)

- Leasing of new aircraft will never be even considered to be dropped. Since airlines do not purchase all their planes either in reality (don't know what's the buy/lease ratio for new planes presently, but guessing around 50/50?). And some LCCs especially have fully leased fleets etc.

- The terms of leasing can be of course adjusted and altered; if someone can point me to some details & facts about real operations & deals of similar nature as background. I believe common practise for new plane leases is to make longer term commitments, like minimum 7-8 years. And definitely not min. 1 yr what we have now (or can have 1 yr but that would be very expensive actually as leasing company takes a big risk there)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 08:21:59 AM by sami »

Offline EYguy

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 08:25:04 AM »
The leasing of new a/c is quite common and there's no limit in the real world for any airlines willing to lease a/c. I would say that putting new rules in an already approximated model of realy would just make it more complicated than it already is.
A/c are not always leased through a/c leasing companies as ILFC or GECAS, but also through specialized branches of banks and so evaluating the real size of the market is always a problem.
EK categorized half of its orders for the A380 as leasing contracts, and we are talking about 90 a/c (with 30 more options for the future). So leasing 45 of them (50 in this game) is not so strange, even though it may look strange.
The only problem we have here is a demand model that is not so accurate yet. As every software, sami needs more time to improve the overall level of realism of this game.
If we start putting limit to a/c you can lease and so on, everything will look even less realistic than it already is.
I'm also struggling with competitors, but I'm not complaining even if I have your same problems! ;)

Artem999

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 08:26:03 AM »
The reason of the same airlines are winning almost always is the tactics of the game. You can restrict leasing, but it can only delay big airlines in development. It will NOT stop them at all.
Second, it is not reasonable to make any limits in this area.

Offline EYguy

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 08:30:12 AM »
- First 4 months are not "free" by any means, just pre-paid.

- All airlines are entitled to buy or lease the number of aircraft they require, or think they require. I don't see why should there be some arbitary limit on how many orders one can have, or something similar?  (well, there actually is a limit, but it's like 500+)

- Leasing of new aircraft will never be even considered to be dropped. Since airlines do not purchase all their planes either in reality (don't know what's the buy/lease ratio for new planes presently, but guessing around 50/50?). And some LCCs especially have fully leased fleets etc.

- The terms of leasing can be of course adjusted and altered; if someone can point me to some details & facts about real operations & deals of similar nature as background. I believe common practise for new plane leases is to make longer term commitments, like minimum 7-8 years. And definitely not min. 1 yr what we have now (or can have 1 yr but that would be very expensive actually as leasing company takes a big risk there)

Sami, actually one year lease contracts are part of the industry. Just think about all those "wet lease" examples you can see on the real world market! :) I would rather improve the leasing system with the option to "wet lease" or "dry lease" an a/c (meaning, leasing it with ACMI scheme)... Of course, it would be more expensive but it would not require you to fire/hire people if you need a gap filler in the meantime.
It is also possible to lease a/c for only some months (but usually it is done for seasonal flights), both on dry and wet leasing terms. That said, I would put the shortest leasing contract to 6 months, in order to make the market for used a/c more "dynamic". At least, this is IMHO...

vitongwangki

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 08:50:32 AM »
The reason of the same airlines are winning almost always is the tactics of the game. You can restrict leasing, but it can only delay big airlines in development. It will NOT stop them at all.
Second, it is not reasonable to make any limits in this area.
Some airlines winning is a fact but there are really some reasons.
1. Some of them always get started in big hubs, the big hubs always guarantee they are able to grow big. Another point that I want to point out is those big hubs are always produce giant airlines and they are impossible to be ruled out because no one can open second base there. I hope Sami would remove this limitation so that the competition in big hubs will be more vigorous; not like now the big hubs are usually become fortress.
2. They do well in ruling out their competitors. They launch strategic attack on your routes and you didn't realize what they did. When you realize your profit have already dropped a lot that you are unable to turn the things back. Try to escape away from attack is always some knowledge to learn, know your competitors well, fly to those destinations they are unable to fly, use smaller aircrafts so that you are more resistant to attack.
3. They grab planes super-quickly, so they develop faster.

blair21088

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 09:28:44 AM »
I was never suggesting eliminating leasing. All I'm trying to point out is that every game is pretty much over in 5 years and one of the primary reasons is the fact that many airlines will have order books of hundreds of planes all of which are leased. Also, I used the term free because 4 months pre paid lease is absolutely an inconsequential amount of money after the 1st year of the game.

This game is a lot of fun but as I'm sure your internal numbers note, Sami, the scenarios die off in activity well before they end is the ability to Entirely lease a 700 plane fleet is a major factor.

Offline Sami

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 01:11:20 PM »
Sami, actually one year lease contracts are part of the industry.

I was talking about leases of new planes. The wet lease deals can of course be very short, even days.

Offline ukatlantic

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 01:12:46 PM »
Second, he 4 month window gives the illusion that certain routes are profitable when they are in fact not, or barely so, which only hurts new or less experienced players at the start of games. Many players don't make the connection between the sudden downturn of their airline and the fact that all their aircraft are out of the 4 month free money stage.

I think you are wrong - If you check the aircraft you have leased despite paying the 4 months 'upfront' it will still show the lease deduction every week in the finaicial overview weekly estimate panel - I checked it out on my 767-400ERS and the profit in the estimate panel was exactly the lease cost amount less than the profitability in the my aircraft view page!  ;)

Offline BobTheCactus

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 01:15:37 PM »
Some airlines winning is a fact but there are really some reasons.
1. Some of them always get started in big hubs, the big hubs always guarantee they are able to grow big. Another point that I want to point out is those big hubs are always produce giant airlines and they are impossible to be ruled out because no one can open second base there. I hope Sami would remove this limitation so that the competition in big hubs will be more vigorous; not like now the big hubs are usually become fortress.

This is the most important thing that needs to be fixed.
Editor of AeroBlogger
If you're interested in blogging on aviation 3x/month or more:
http://AeroBlogger.com/Write

Sandager

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 01:28:01 PM »
  It really doesn't make a difference if you open up for the possibility of making a second hub in some of the largest airports. After 18 months, all slots are pretty much taken and no one can open up a base there. Well they could, but not operate any flights, as all slots are taken. So this would be a useless change.

 I would recommend to re-introduce the A-B-C-A, with or without traffic rights between B and C. However this opportunity should only be in smaller airports. Like cat 3 or smaller, or maybe even cat 2 and smaller. As it is today opening up a hub in a smaller airport gets boring pretty fast as the growth potential is extremely limited. At least this way it would become more interesting to operate out of these airports. And if someone thinks this ruin the simulation..... well honestly have a look at the game again. This is a game, not simulation. You don't see companies ordering hundreds of airbuses and hundreds of other types. There are several factors in the game that proves this is just a game, not simulation. A game that I enjoy very much.

 Also giving operators from smaller airports new possibilities might lead to the participants spreading out more evenly. As it is today most airliners are in extremely few areas, leaving big parts of the world "unserved"

Andrebr

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 02:05:16 PM »
Ive started in this game a few weesks ago only. Played one week in the Begginers World 12 and another week in the Dawn od the Millenium. Received important tips from a kind user, Bobthe Cactus. Now Im playing in Modern Times 4, and Im going well for a almost no experience player.

But I have experience in this type of economic game, and for me is very clear, the game need to be balanced to equalize oportunities of win. Actually, players who know caracteristics os all planes and details of a big hub get a velocity of growing that in a few months the game is over.

How to do that? In my opiniom, the better way is to have a limit for lease new planes (based maybe in how many planes the airlines own). And, most important, this limitation need to be proportional to the airport. Who want to play in KORD need to have a more hard limitation and so on. The quality of the administration need to be more important than the velocity of growing.

I think one scenario with some limitation of this type need to be created for public testing.

I saw the argument of simulate the real world is important here, but something need of adjustments because we start in a world where do not exist airlines, and in the next minute 500 airlines are starting.

I would like to say too that this game have the better programing quality I saw in the net until now.

(sorry for my bad english)

Offline knobbygb

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2011, 03:25:43 PM »
I think Sami's intention to try to add 'AI' airlines will somewhat curb the exponential-growth problem. It just won't be possible to grow that quickly if, on day 1 of the game, places like ORD have only a small proportion of their slots available (maybe 25% free would be a good starting point).  Yes, sure, one or two players will still try to grab what's available but the others can then be released more gradually over time as the AI airlines decline.  Also some kind of regulation against anti-competitive behaviour could mean that these 'new' slots are reserved for new entrant airlines for some period of time.  So the new strategy for dominance might be to find good midsize airports where one can still grow quite quickly, but at nothing like the rate we see currently. The smaller the airport, the higher the proportion of slots that would be free on day 1.

The real problem lies in the fact that we start in a world with no airlines and then 500 start business on the same day.  Since that's unrealistic (but unavoidable of course) maybe the airports themselves can phase-into operation more gradually. So if ORD will eventually allow 85 departures per hour, maybe it should start more gradually with just, for example,  20 per hour in the first year, 40 in the second year etc. After all, a real airport needs time to get up to speed - hire staff, train them, build experience, iron out problems in the procedures and infrastructure etc. so this isn't as unrealistic as it might seem at first.  Again anti-monopoly laws could also ensure a more even spread of any new slots.

There really are so many possibilities I think Sami's mind must be spinning in circles reading these threads.  Even as a newbie they're already sounding 'old' to me so this is my one and only comment and I'll let the experts continue with the great work they do on this game.

vitongwangki

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2011, 03:41:26 PM »
  It really doesn't make a difference if you open up for the possibility of making a second hub in some of the largest airports. After 18 months, all slots are pretty much taken and no one can open up a base there. Well they could, but not operate any flights, as all slots are taken. So this would be a useless change.

 I would recommend to re-introduce the A-B-C-A, with or without traffic rights between B and C. However this opportunity should only be in smaller airports. Like cat 3 or smaller, or maybe even cat 2 and smaller. As it is today opening up a hub in a smaller airport gets boring pretty fast as the growth potential is extremely limited. At least this way it would become more interesting to operate out of these airports. And if someone thinks this ruin the simulation..... well honestly have a look at the game again. This is a game, not simulation. You don't see companies ordering hundreds of airbuses and hundreds of other types. There are several factors in the game that proves this is just a game, not simulation. A game that I enjoy very much.

 Also giving operators from smaller airports new possibilities might lead to the participants spreading out more evenly. As it is today most airliners are in extremely few areas, leaving big parts of the world "unserved"
Actually half of slots in KORD aren't used yet, two years from the start. Of course you can say in another way that ZBAA and EGLL are already full.

L1011fan

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2011, 07:11:09 PM »
I was never suggesting eliminating leasing. All I'm trying to point out is that every game is pretty much over in 5 years and one of the primary reasons is the fact that many airlines will have order books of hundreds of planes all of which are leased. Also, I used the term free because 4 months pre paid lease is absolutely an inconsequential amount of money after the 1st year of the game.

This game is a lot of fun but as I'm sure your internal numbers note, Sami, the scenarios die off in activity well before they end is the ability to Entirely lease a 700 plane fleet is a major factor.
That fact of the matter, if that airline has the money, it may do as it likes. I've never had the pleasure of leasing that many aircraft at once, but I wouldn't mind seeing what its like! ;)

L1011fan

  • Former member
Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2011, 07:12:44 PM »
  It really doesn't make a difference if you open up for the possibility of making a second hub in some of the largest airports. After 18 months, all slots are pretty much taken and no one can open up a base there. Well they could, but not operate any flights, as all slots are taken. So this would be a useless change.

 I would recommend to re-introduce the A-B-C-A, with or without traffic rights between B and C. However this opportunity should only be in smaller airports. Like cat 3 or smaller, or maybe even cat 2 and smaller. As it is today opening up a hub in a smaller airport gets boring pretty fast as the growth potential is extremely limited. At least this way it would become more interesting to operate out of these airports. And if someone thinks this ruin the simulation..... well honestly have a look at the game again. This is a game, not simulation. You don't see companies ordering hundreds of airbuses and hundreds of other types. There are several factors in the game that proves this is just a game, not simulation. A game that I enjoy very much.

 Also giving operators from smaller airports new possibilities might lead to the participants spreading out more evenly. As it is today most airliners are in extremely few areas, leaving big parts of the world "unserved"
Agreed, WITH beyond traffic rights as long as its not cabotage.

Offline [ATA] Sunbao

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Re: There has to be a limit to the number of planes you can lease
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2011, 07:49:47 PM »
The only way to go is to make the incomes much more realistic.

 

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