Hi. Thoughts from a nearly new player.
To be accurate, I did play beginner's 3 weeks, before switching to brand new GW3. The thing is, I did do my homework, more or less. I did choose an average base airport(Glasgow), read toroughly the rules, the FAQ's, the advice, and so on. Though not all-powerful, my company is rather strong for a newbie who made plenty of mistakes. I've got 4 bases now, and the smaller ones are the ones who make the most cash. In the meantime, my 2 initial opponents in Glasgow did die a painful death.
Lessons learned :
(1)don't mess with big lines if you're not absolutely ready to face cutthroat competition. I've lost a lot of feathers in a mistaken try there. Pilots costs, communality costs are real killers there.
(2)do your homework : if you regularly check your ticket prices, load factors and opposition evolution, you can adapt & get more money from your planes
(3)mistakes are costly. You have to learn from them or die.
(4)I attacked my opponents only when their failure became obvious(i.e. -4M pee quarter 2 quarters in a row, and no perspectives for a rebound). I mainly wanted to be sure I'd have lines already operational on every space they'd leave empty as soon as they'd die. I could have attacked them earlier, with greater risks from me.
(3) is what makes the game fun to me. AWS is an intelligent game, that shows us our own stupidity. It reminds me somewhat Cities in motion, to an extent. But it can be fearful to less careful players, that dream of a beefed up version of airlines manager 2(where opposition is only in the standings, not in the airports).
So the thing is : how not to scare those less careful players to death? I'd say by some kind of tutorial elements. Examples :
(a)I've got 2 737-200. I want to buy a 737-300. A pop-up warns me with communality costs.(but does not prevent me, if I want to be stupid...)
(b)12 companies did settle in ORD, including year-long veterans full of achievements. I'm a complete newbie. A pop-up warns me about "cutthroat competion" at this airport.(but does not prevent me, if I want to be stupid...)
(c)I'm about investing 50% of my expenses in marketing in a 3-years, 5-media campaign for a Bergen-Paderborn route. A pop-up warns me that it could sink my company.(but does not prevent me, if I want to be stupid...)
(d)My MD80s fly only 5.5 hours per day. A pop-up warns me that I cannot earn money like that.(but does not create more lines for me, if I want to be stupid...)
etc..... could be a "tutorial mode", deactivable at wish, that would have a few alerts like that. If player wants to bypass, well, there's a lesson to be learned(or not, it could be part of a clever strategy - just most of the time it will just be a mistake). From what I've heard about WoW, the new player is guided for a very long part of the game. It shall not be so in AWS, a game that appeals to a smaller niche of players, but still, some elements of guidance should really avoid the worse mistakes.
One of my opponents in Glasgow, called CalAir, died because he did not anticipate opposition. He had somewhat good lines, but was slowly but surely smothered by growing opposition from outside. That's life. I accelerated his demise by opening lines to Stockholm & Leeds, but he was already in the red at the time, with no hope of recovery. I hope he learned a lesson(about game dynamics, i.e. a line gushing cash is not forever, it WILL attract thirsty opposition. just a matter of time).
The other one, FlyUK, though, had only 2 lines(to Heathrow & Gatwick), and a plane utilization of 5.5 hours per day! Opposition on Heathrow was already big, I just had to plan several lines to Gatwick to finish him off(and take my share of the Gatwick line) - but he was doomed anyways. That's the kind of players that would really be helped by some kind of alert. Unless he just disconnected, I don't know - but for those, there is nothing to do.
(there's a new competitor focused on long-haul, a domain I'm avoiding on purpose. I wish him good luck - he might need it).
TL;DR : some kind of alarms, or pop-up, could warn the new player about the standard stupid mistakes, and help him thrive if he is wise enough to follow them.