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Author Topic: Cesma - An AWS AAR  (Read 2296 times)

Offline Sanabas

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Cesma - An AWS AAR
« on: September 30, 2011, 08:03:05 PM »
This will be my first world that I play from day 1 until the end, and after some discussion about game mechanics, what's possible, etc, I'm going to write up what I'm doing in some detail, and document some hard numbers for things like commonality costs, base costs, etc, etc. Hopefully people are interested.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 06:02:10 PM by Sanabas »

Offline ZombieSlayer

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 08:28:42 PM »
Looking forward to it!
Co-Founder Elite Worldwide Alliance
CEO PacAir
Designated "Tier 1 Opponent"

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 09:08:43 PM »
We'll see what happens, it might end up a semi-useful beginner guide, too. Anyone has questions about what I'm doing, or why, fire away.

My background in AWS: I have only run 5 airlines, and never run one for an entire gameworld. I have a strong dislike for boring &/or repetitive airline names. I've played a lot of RPGs, I treat AWS as part-RPG. All my airlines have been successful so far, but 4 of the 5 have BKed. Beginner's world in order to join DOTM, 2 due to a long RL induced break, MT5 because I joined late, had limited expansion potential, and didn't want to run 2 high maintenance airlines. In the current DOTM, The Flying Romanovs started 8 years late, but we are very successful.

I've chosen Dubai for a few reasons. The primary reason will get revealed later, I hope. If not, I might have to try the same thing when we get an extra-long gameworld. I want a country with at least a couple of viable bases, and the possibility of a 4th, potentially temporary base, in order to look at the staffing costs. I want plenty of LH routes, plenty of shorter routes too. Dubai's actually not so great for short routes, I count only 4 decent routes <600 NM, and only 3 more that are maybe worth 1 flight per day. I really don't want a curfew. 0% tax is nice, much more flexibility about when to order planes, better cash flow, don't need to pay any attention to aiming for as close to a 0 balance on the yearly income statement. Did some research in DOTM, and came up with Dubai.

So, my goals for JA5:
Be the largest/only airline in UAE/Dubai.
Be the largest airline in the middle east by pax, revenue, CV, etc.
Be top 10 in the world for all those things, too. Not sure if that one is feasible, or if it's too easy. I don't know if I can compete with an airline in places like US, UK & Japan that have better airports to expand into, I don't know if they'll be hurt by the (probable) higher level of competition. We'll see.
Be #1 for fleet utilisation. I'm #1 in DOTM for this stat when I don't have new deliveries waiting to be scheduled. I was up to 500 planes in the air for 18.5 hours/day each. The lack of short flights will actually help this one.
Fill Dubai, either because I've run out of viable routes or run out of slots. With just 5 slots per hour to start, that might be the limiting factor.
Open bases at the other 3 UAE airports, base 100 aircraft at Abu Dhabi & Sharjah, and either make the Al Ain base profitable or close it down. I'll close it right at the end of the game if I still have it, in order to extract some hard numbers.
Own my whole fleet.
Be launch customer for at least one plane type, since I've never done that before.
Make the effort to have a livery, something else I haven't done before. Anybody wants to make one, feel free. I'd rather it not be subtle, and given the airline name there probably should be some royal blue or dark blue in there. But other than that, get inventive.
Plus the super secret goal, we'll see if anyone can figure it out, as there'll be some clues.


I've leased my first 2 planes, both DC-6s. I already have competition in Dubai, and he has a billion dollar airline in DOTM. He has 2 very similar planes to mine, L-749 Constellations. Stay tuned...
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 09:11:19 PM by Sanabas »

Offline lunchbox

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 02:42:42 AM »
Sounds like this will be an interesting read.  I'm hanging out in MT5 right now (started late), on my 4th time around in that world lol 8)

Looking forward to seeing the Hedgehog fly ;D

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 03:41:11 AM »
So, my first big decision in Dubai is to not be in Dubai anymore. I would really prefer not to play in the same airport twice, and it looks like my primary reason/goal for choosing Dubai won't actually be possible to achieve in this gameworld. Therefore I'm going to save it for the first longterm gameworld we get. Great Blue Hedgehog will return to Dubai for that, and get an AAR as well.

I still want to document the mechanics, investigate some things, etc in this world, I just need to work out where I'm going to do it from and what we're going to be called...

Offline Kadachiman

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 09:28:02 AM »
LOL....so it took about 5-6 hrs for you to change your game plan...I'm not to sure that you will find a non-populated place that is worth flying.

I did a heap of research, found an ideal airport to suit my game strategy...problem is...so did 5 other CEO's...game plans have a habit of hitting road bumps :-(

Your journal should make for an interesting read.


Offline Sanabas

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 09:46:08 AM »
Nah, my gameplan for Dubai is unchanged. It's just being saved for the long term world, because I don't want to play it twice.

Not too worried about non-populated, winning against lots of comp, or going down in flames thanks to lots of comp would both be interesting. But reasonably empty would be nice.

I looked at Argentina, looks good, completely empty, decent LH demand. But it also has just a handful of routes under 2000 NM. Fun challenge for the future, not so good for this.

Instead, my new airline is named Cemsa, and based in Paris, at Orly airport. 1 other airline there already, it has a curfew just to make things tougher, and there are currently slots for just 95 flights per day. With both of my initial CV-340s flying 5 daily flights, that's enough for just 19 planes between our two airlines. It's going to get very crowded, very fast. 05xx slots are already all gone, and 22xx slots are gone for monday & friday. I wonder how fast new slots arrive in this game?

Anyway, I have just watched my team lose the grand final, so I am going to disappear and sulk for a bit. Will type more about some of the dogmatic stuff/less dogmatic advice/rules of thumb I see on the forums, and how I'm going to help prove them right/wrong later.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cemsa - An AWS AAR
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 09:48:03 AM »
Thread title changed, Great Blue Hedgehog will return in another world.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2011, 08:36:03 PM »
So, we're off and running. A 3rd airline has appeared in Paris, so initial strategy is going to be to expand as aggressively as possible, getting as many planes as possible until I (and my competitors) have run out of slots to use. Then consolidate after that, transition to my long term fleets, set up more efficient schedules, etc.

Initial fleet is a pair of CV-340s, the market had no DC6s nor Connies, so that was the biggest plane I could get. It's also one of the only planes on the used market that can also be had new. Slightly disappointing to see so many production lines closed just before game start. Would be good to see them stay open until day 1, then have the 'this production line will close in 6 months' message. My airline's french, and the Breguet 763 looks awesome (double decker plane, it's a mini a380!), but with only 23 in existence and production having ended just 5 moths before the world started, there's no chance to use it.

Day 2, got another CV-340 used, ordered 1 new, and ordered a Bristol Wayfarer as well. That's the biggest plane currently in production, has the range to (slowly) reach the middle east and US, so that's going to be my initial long haul fleet.

Day 3, and I'm still allowed planes from the used market. No CVs to be seen, Curtis-Wright Commandos everywhere, so that will be my highly available, cheap, short term fleet choice. The prices show something important, PAY ATTENTION TO RUNNING COSTS! The cheapest C-46 (17.5 years old) on the market has a lease price of 9k per month. The newest one (9.8 years) has a price of 15 k per month. 66% more expensive, I only want them for a year or two, should be an easy choice, right? Then we look at maintenance. Old plane: 4k A check, 10.5k B check, that's 22.5k per month, 2.5 times the lease price, in basic running costs. New plane: 2k A check, 5k B check. So just with basic maintenance, the newer, 66% more expensive plane costs me 26k per month, the older, cheaper, identically specced plane costs 31.5k per month. $66,000 per year more expensive for the 'cheap' plane, and that's before even the $120k extra it will cost for a c-check.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2011, 10:02:03 PM »
Having looked at a few more planes, I really want a Lockheed Starliner. I could start flying ridiculous routes like Paris-Auckland with them. But the production line closed 6 months prior to the game starting, and there are none at all with the brokers. DC-7C was its direct competitor, that line is still open.

Some of the stuff I want to investigate:
Dogmatic statements I've seen on the forums:
Extra bases are simply for prestige, they can't be profitable, even with 100 a 320s. - This is rubbish, and I produced numbers in DOTM to say so. I'll do the same this time, I expect all 3 of my bases (am I allowed to base in Algeria? Reunion Island? Guadelope? I hope so.) to increase my overall profits.

NEVER sack staff, NEVER close a base if you're not going to open another, it will kill your airline. - Again, DOTM proved this wrong. Mass sackings of ~25% of staff hurt CI & morale, but my airline survived & recovered. Without the sackings, I may not have pulled out of the downward spiral I was in due to all the unscheduled/half scheduled planes that were killing me. With the sackings, it was close, but the airline is extremely healthy again. Hopefully I won't need to test this again, though I will be sacking all my small aircraft pilots en masse when I retire my final C46.

ULH can't make money, it's only for prestige. - Don't know about this one. I certainly agree that shorter routes are more profitable. It'll be interesting to see what sort of stats I generate for route length v profitability. I think my methodology will be to work out approximate fixed costs per plane in terms of staff, commonality, approx average lease price & maintenance. Each plane can be scheduled for ~163 hours/week, so divide those fixed plane costs by 163 to give me an approximate value for fixed costs per hour for a given plane type. Then take the route info, to get operating profit for a particular route. Divide that by however many hours it uses to schedule, and I have approximate operating profit per hour for a route. Remove the fixed cost per hour, and I have net profit per hour for a route. If you have positive/negative comments on that methodology, flaws you can see, ways to improve it, please post them.

Fill short routes first. - See above. I agree with this one, I'll try and quantify it. It'll be interesting to see how the bigger planes with longer turnaround times work out, if shortest possible is still best, or if something slightly longer is the optimum.

You need to stick to 1 fleet until you have x planes. - I think this is ok advice for new players, but I also think it can be ignored once you have more idea what you're doing. Because...
Adding your 2nd/3rd/xth fleet will increase all existing fleet's commanality costs by 40/50/100/y%. - This bit's wrong. The increase to existing fleets for adding a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, whateverth fleet type isn't actually that much. It's there, and it builds, but it's not a sudden, steep increase. The biggest increase is the first plane in a fleet. So I think that you can essentially have as many 20+ plane fleets as you want without problems. It's the 1-2 plane fleets that will be hurting overall profits and should be avoided. Again, I'll be documenting commanality costs as my fleet grows (and as I retire old fleets). My 2nd fleet arrives in less than 2 weeks ingame, my 3rd fleet a month or so after that.

I'm sure more stuff will occur to me as I go. Comments on the above, other stuff you'd like to see, want to tell me I'm talking crap, please post.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2011, 07:35:25 AM »
Less than 3 weeks into the game, and things are very interesting in Paris. One airline has just the one C46, and probably won't be going anywhere. But my other competitor is running along the same lines as me, and doing it well. I think we'll be holding each other back for the forseeable future. A picture of the current slot situation is attached. That's in less than 3 weeks, with just 2 airlines based there trying to expand.

On the global stats, the two of us are #1 & #3 for staff size, and #1 & #2 for number of weekly flights (which is also number of slots purchased.) I've gone $1.1 million into the red just scheduling 7 planes. I've scheduled 10 planes total, I've managed to avoid too much downtime, I have 8 of the 10 flying 4 or 5 routes a day with no break, the final 2 are sitting on the tarmac for 5 or 6 hours (one at home, one in Strasbourg) while the curfew passes. I really, really hate curfews. Never again. :laugh:

Staff numbers have increased more or less linearly, with a bit of a bump on the 4th & 5th plane:

Staff:

1 cv: 44 staff (+44)

2 cv: 95 staff  (+51)

3 cv: 153 staff (+58)

3 cv, 1 c46: 226 staff (+73)

3 cv, 2 c46: 312 staff (+86)

3 cv, 3 c46: 368 (+56)

3, 4: 424 (+56)

3, 5: 482 (+58)

4, 5: 545 (+63)

5, 5: 602 (+57)

Commonality actually did exactly double for the CV fleet when I went from 3 CVs to 3 CVs + 2 C46s. I may have been wrong with my thoughts on that one. I'd be interested to see what happens to someone else when they have 1 fleet of ~20 planes, then add a 2nd fleet. With 1 CV, it was 12.6k for planes, 15.6k for engines. 2CV, 19.5/16.3, 3CV, 30.5/17.5. Added the two C46s, and it went to 61K for the CVs, 55.5K for the C46s, 23.2k for the single engine type. Don't have plane profits yet for the C46s, but the 2 initial CVs are at ~60k each weekly profit with a ~45% LF. So the extra 2.5k per week per plane commonality cost isn't really a big deal.

Now I'll just be sitting back and waiting for my balance to creep back into positive numbers, and schedule the two new planes when they arrive. Might take a while, but the good cashflow should mean I can get a loan, get another batch of planes, and head back into the red scheduling them. 3 plane weekly limit is going to hurt, it means I'll get at most 9 planes before I have to pay for slots, rather than 18. 3 plane limit is a good thing.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2011, 05:37:26 PM »
A couple of weeks on, we've improved to -500k, with 350k profit last week on 700k ticket sales as all 10 planes are now flying.

Commonality costs for 5 CVs are 72.5k, for 5 C46s are 67.8k.

flightsimer

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Re: Great Blue Hedgehog - An AWS AAR
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2011, 07:52:02 PM »
LOL....so it took about 5-6 hrs for you to change your game plan...I'm not to sure that you will find a non-populated place that is worth flying.

I did a heap of research, found an ideal airport to suit my game strategy...problem is...so did 5 other CEO's...game plans have a habit of hitting road bumps :-(

Your journal should make for an interesting read.


You didnt think you would have JFK all to yourself now did you? lol

Offline Kadachiman

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2011, 12:48:50 AM »
Not at all....but I didn't expect 6 additional airlines to join....it will be fun to see which 2 or 3 survive.
PS - 1 already left but another joined

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2011, 01:39:41 AM »
Hehe, good luck in JFK. It's going to be interesting to see if both of us survive in Paris. My competition has ordered & scheduled 3 more CVs, that makes 11. My brand new CV340 is due this week, and I snuck far enough into the green before salaries were due to order 3 more used planes, 2 c46, 1 CV. Then scheduled the new plane, couldn't actually schedule a 4th route because there's a 3 hour block without slots, and back into the red we go...

I won't schedule the three just ordered planes until as late as possible, hopefully that gives me enough cash to order 3 more. It's 50-150k to lease a plane, ~300k to schedule it. I'm also 12 days from a 400k tax deduction, which will hurt.

I think there is an issue with loans, I noticed it in either DOTM or MT5, but didn't document it properly. I've missed 3 loan payments, so my initial loan now correctly runs until 31 Jan 1963, rather than 10 Jan. I made my last payment. What I think will happen next time I miss a payment is that the loan amount won't reduce, I won't get a message saying 'loan payment missed', and the buggy bit, which is the end date won't change. Won't be an issue if I pay the loan off early, but what I think will happen if I continue normally is I'll reach late January 1963, and the loan amount will still show say 30k owing. I'll make 1 last 5k payment, and the loan will be paid off, which means I've come out 25k in front of where I should be. I'll be taking 1 year loans when the bank makes them available, and I think the same thing will happen. First batch of missed payments works correctly, subsequent ones don't.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 01:42:47 AM by Sanabas »

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2011, 05:53:06 AM »
Income tax came out on the 11th of the month. I thought it was always the 15th. Bummer.

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2011, 10:31:30 AM »
Just a small piece of information:

Never change your long-term strategy because of somebody joins your airport or you face more competition than you thought. If your long-term strategy is good, you will be better with staying to it in AWS.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2011, 06:37:25 PM »
Just a small piece of information:

Never change your long-term strategy because of somebody joins your airport or you face more competition than you thought. If your long-term strategy is good, you will be better with staying to it in AWS.

I'm not sure why that's relevant to this thread.

Quote from: Sanabas
I think there is an issue with loans, I noticed it in either DOTM or MT5, but didn't document it properly.

I've missed 2 more payments, and the finish date has indeed changed. Hopefully that means the issue's been fixed.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2011, 06:55:54 PM »
Early April in-game, and there are now over 95% of slots taken, most of them by just two airlines. There are just 15 airports above 50% full, just 5 above 70%. The top 3 are Orly at 96.89, LHR at 95.8, Oslo at 84.03 Basing in Atlanta or Chicago with their 23 or 24 slots/hour (compared to Orly's 7 at the moment) would certainly have made things easier. I ordered my Britannia on day 2 of the game, it's going to arrive without slots to use. So, little need now to lease small props and grab slots, once I have cash again, it'll be time to lease big props, and put them on the slots I already have. Terminating a lease on a C46 only costs ~40k, which is nothing compared to the slot costs.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Cesma - An AWS AAR
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2011, 11:29:31 PM »
10th April, the game's now 3 months old. Monday, Thursday, Friday don't have a single free slot. Wednesday & Sunday only has 2. This is a very, very full airport.

 

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