I think all are viable options,
As opposed to changeing the costs, how about increasing the default prices to small airports?
I'm just browsing through the regional airlines in Melbourne (Flying Metro's, PA-31's) And a typical fare
on a 45 minute flight is $180-$250 one way, meaning that you can create a nice little niche airline providing it spends enough time aloft..
I havn't checked the average airfare in AS for a one way true regional flight with a 7-20 seater.... though I presume it wouldn't be to much....
I think it is a good idea, HOWEVER! ... ... ... the staff costs do need to change still... as it not a simulation of real life
I think the problem is AS doesn't recognise many of the feederline pilots, are the dispatchers, baggage handlers, fa's, ground handlers, and
sometimes minor maintenance, all rolled into the one person. The staff structure of AS with the variety of positions makes any regional airline far to overstaffed
How much would work would be needed to incorporate one or two of these features into the current version of AS? I imagine staffing would need a complete overhaul for it to work
and ESA and Incentives would be another version away as well. However cheaper gate prices for the Feeders and maybe a increase in price without the negative image or demand drop could be possible? I don't mean to be critical of AS, it's perfect for the larger aircraft just the smaller ones need to be tweaked abit!