So I was thinking. It has been suggested a few times to do "Express" or contract carriers.
An example, I am Big Airline Inc flying from JFK all over the world, and want to serve some smaller towns in NY (Binghamton etc...), I already have 3 fleet types, and dont wan't to introduce a 4th type (lets say ATR). So instead I hire Small Plane Airline Inc to fly the flight for me, and pay them a fixed fee.
The question has always been how to do it. Well here is my idea.
There will be a market, similar to the the plane market but called the route market.
Basically either the express carrier (operating carrier), or the big carrier (marketing carrier) creates a route like it is now, but a box is checked that says its an "outsourced route". It is decided how much the marketing carrier wants to pay the seller (in percentages, so for example guaranteed for 65% load). Any differences, lets say the actual load is 75%, so that 10% load revenue goes to the marketing carrier.
There is of course a contract period, say similar to the airplane market.
If the marketing carrier wants to cancel the contract they have to pay 50% of the remaining period, if the operating carrier wants to cancel, the same thing happens.
The Marketing cost, goes to the marketing carrier, and on schedules it looks like the marketing carrier is operating the flight (although maybe put a star saying it is operated by the other airline for the marketing carrier). The operating costs go to the operating carrier.
Also when the route is put on the route market one can have the option of having a non-compete agreement, basically the operating carrier can only have a flight between those cities for only one marketing carrier.
If there is no non-compete then the operating carrier can theoretically fly for as many marketing carriers as they want to.
(Of course each one would be its own plane, would be interesting to see 3 different flights between two cities all marketed by a different airline, but operated by the same one.)
The only thing that I am not sure about is about operating bases. I have 3 ideas.
1. The operating carrier needs to have a base where it operates (I propose unlimited bases then). So if the operating carrier airline is not based out of JFK it can't operate the flights for me.
2. The operating carrier can operate from the marketing carrier base, but then you could have the operating airline flying from a million different airports. (Although the country restriction should help a bit.) Perhaps if option 2 is chosen the Marketing carrier has to pay 1/2 of the operating costs since the flight departs from the marketing carriers base.
3. A hybrid of 1 and 2. When the operating carrier has a base in at least one airport the marketing carrier pays 0 in operating costs, when ti does not the marketing carrier pays 50% of the costs.