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Author Topic: Expand commonality to "Like Types"  (Read 2227 times)

Offline ZombieSlayer

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Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« on: June 03, 2012, 04:20:55 PM »
As we all know there is a huge commonality penalty for a 4th type. This penalty increases exponentially as the size of an airlines fleet increases to the point that an airline with 1000 aircraft will face a 1200% increase in commonality costs when the 4th type is added.

I understand this is in place to limit growth and to punish poor planning, and I do not entirely disagree with the logic, but a complication of the problem is like types being considered different fleet types. Some examples that come to mind are the 737 line being considered 3 different fleet groups, the DC-9/MD-80/MD-90/717 being different types, the Dash 8-1/2/3 and  the Q400, and the Saab 340/2000. Would it be possible to program the system to not penalize a player who uses, say, 737-3/4/5 alongside 737-6/7/8/9 (ie, consider the whole 737 line as one fleet type if operated in the same airline) considering that, IRL, the amount the frames have in common is very high? I know in the past it has been said that fleet groups could not be combined due to speed differences and some other issues, but in this case I am asking instead of combining the groups, program the sim to recognize certain types as "common" with others and therefore not assess the penalty generally associated with extra fleet types.

Don
Co-Founder Elite Worldwide Alliance
CEO PacAir
Designated "Tier 1 Opponent"

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 07:37:13 PM »
As we all know there is a huge commonality penalty for a 4th type. This penalty increases exponentially as the size of an airlines fleet increases to the point that an airline with 1000 aircraft will face a 1200% increase in commonality costs when the 4th type is added.

I understand this is in place to limit growth and to punish poor planning, and I do not entirely disagree with the logic, but a complication of the problem is like types being considered different fleet types. Some examples that come to mind are the 737 line being considered 3 different fleet groups, the DC-9/MD-80/MD-90/717 being different types, the Dash 8-1/2/3 and  the Q400, and the Saab 340/2000. Would it be possible to program the system to not penalize a player who uses, say, 737-3/4/5 alongside 737-6/7/8/9 (ie, consider the whole 737 line as one fleet type if operated in the same airline) considering that, IRL, the amount the frames have in common is very high? I know in the past it has been said that fleet groups could not be combined due to speed differences and some other issues, but in this case I am asking instead of combining the groups, program the sim to recognize certain types as "common" with others and therefore not assess the penalty generally associated with extra fleet types.

Don

Look at my Commonality Points thread...  there are more too:

http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,27714.0.html

Offline alexgv1

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 07:44:27 PM »
Look at my Commonality Points thread...  there are more too:

http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,27714.0.html

Or what about your simpler idea on "partial commonality"?

I like this look on things from this thread, it is simpler than any suggested before.
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

brique

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 02:39:06 AM »
I would agree that commonality should better reflect the real cost benefits of keeping a fleet of common type or origin. I also think it should acknowledge that 'first of type' does carry a high 'start-up' cost, where-as by delivery of the 10/20/30th of type, that cost is long absorbed. Further, I think that adding a new size-category, such as going from small to large-size a/c, should also bear a seperate 'start-up' penalty to reflect the new infrastructure needed ; larger hangers, jetways, etc

Of course, how the complex set of data collection/storage and subsequent calculations then needed can be easily and simply coded then efficiently integrated into the game with minimal impact on matters like server load is another matter.

But I would think a smaller change that adds some reward for 'type/manufacturer' loyalty may go some way to improving matters : perhaps a modifier which reduces the penalty if one stays all Airbus/Boeing/whatever. Yes, this may cause other issues, like certain types being 'too popular', but that's RL too, sadly.


Offline ZombieSlayer

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 04:27:55 AM »
Bump.

It is stupid hard to go through multiple fleet replacements in the long game worlds with that huge penalty for the fourth type. Something needs to be done.

Like types or something similar would be good. Even another request that called for an outgoing type to be marked as retiring not counting toward commonality as long as, say, the 6 month moving average fleet size of said fleet type is constantly decreasing.

The real problem lies in long game worlds.....in my case I have been and will be in constant fleet renewal from 1965-2005 meaning 40 years of no growth and just boring, tedious fleet replacement. I am going Comet -> 727 -> A32X or 73NG and DC-8 -> DC-10 -> A330/40 or 777. Since that 4th type adds a stupid amount to the commonality bill all I can do is continuously swap fleets which does not make for a fun game. I am sure many others are in the same boat.....
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Offline Jetsetter

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 07:32:15 PM »
I have to pay 10 million dollars A WEEK to fly the L-1011. 10-million-dollars.

There's an obvious benefit of having a smaller fleet in the real world, hell Southwest made it one of their selling points to investors. But ECONOMIES OF SCALE will make fleet types pay for themselves, not arbitrarily assigning a 600% INCREASE in training costs and DOUBLING maintenance costs. Those numbers are no where near real world reflective.

In the game, we can't choose to outsource to regional airlines. As such, our Embraer and CRJ fleets have to be taken on by the mainline carrier and counted towards our fleet types. ERJ's and CRJ's have different cost profiles than mainline aircraft, which is in part addressed by the staffing functions. But to insist that overnight one fleet type has made it OVER 6 TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN A FLEET OF AIRCRAFT is outside the realm of fiscal plausibility.

All of the major US airlines would have tanked due to their fleets and this policy. To give some perspective, the three major US carriers with regional subfleets that remain now have:

American - 9 aircraft types
Delta - 14 aircraft types, 11 of which are mainline!
United - 15 aircraft types!!!! 15 freaking distinct types of aircraft!

And that's just the American ones. Air France, British Airways, KLM, Iberia, the large airlines of the world all have a tendency to operate upwards of 10 subfleets!

Now that wouldn't make sense if they were flying one airplane of each. But they're not. They're flying 30 or 40 to hundreds of the same airplane, which makes operating those types accessible. If a real world airline can derive value from more than 3 types of aircraft, then why are we being stifled to do so?

In a study from the November 2010 edition of The Journal of Air Transport Management, Alexander Brüggen and Levin Klose point out that "While a standardized airline fleet can produce significant cost advantages, there may also be drawbacks. Carriers aiming at maximizing efficiency and their cost advantages by using a uniform fleet generally limit the types of service they provide. Airlines require types of aircraft that best suit their network and routes and thus offering a wide range of diverse services may be best served with a more diverse fleet. In the low-cost airline case there are limited variations in demand and routes and thus commonality may be advantageous. In contrast to network airlines such as Lufthansa or Air France operate global services based on hub and spoke systems involving high-demand trunk routes and lower-demand regional connections and thus a more varied fleet may be optimal." Via a regression analysis, they equate a .106 or 10.6% reduction in profitability per additional fleet type.

The same journal from January 2015 features a study by Zou, Dresner, and Yu (I actually just finished a class with Yu in my MBA program at Embry Riddle) which concludes "Using panel data for a group of US airlines from 1999 to 2009, we find that fleet standardization, as expected, leads to lower unit costs. However, after controlling for its cost-reducing effects, fleet standardization is negatively related to profit margin. Our findings provide quantitative evidence of the trade-off between the costs and benefits from fleet commonality. Although airlines can benefit from cost savings in flight operations and maintenance with a more standardized fleet, the potential negative revenue impacts from fleet standardization have generally been overlooked."

I understand why it's there, so that airlines aren't flying every type in existence. But this is where having a sufficiently large fleet and economies of scale would clear the way. If a CEO wants to fly a Piper Seminole, a Beech 1900C, a Beech 99, a Cessna Caravan, and a DHC-6 then let them, and let the breakeven bar be sufficiently high that unless you own 10 or 20 of the types of aircraft it's unprofitable. I bet you they won't find 100 destinations to fly a sizeable enough subfleet of those airplanes to, and makes the whole exercise uneconomical. The same premise exists for larger aircraft, as someone flying the MD-90, MD-80, 737, and A320 will have to operate them in such small subfleets and forego the benefit from having all of them combined. But don't penalize me when I'm swapping 737-300 to 737-700's while operating a 777 for across the world routes, 767's for Europe, 757's for domestic long hauls, and RJ's to connect them all together for a total of 6 fleets. Each aircraft has a (rather large) niche, and when you limit the number of aircraft that I can fly I'm suddenly trying to stuff a 767-300 to do a 777-200's job.

This has a further impact on aircraft production, because now everyone is cramming their flights into the same old fleet types. RJ, 737, 767, or RJ, A320, A330. It's done time and time again. No one orders 777's or 747's because they'll get the penalty, so they stick with the smaller option. It's boring. I want to emulate a real world airline and have multiple fleet types, not adhere to the same crap I did in the last 10 game worlds. Trying out something new is part of the fun that actually keeps things fresh. If you give people the ability to create more colorful fleets, they'll be more inclined to keep playing the game instead of performing the same scheduling grind and lack variety they experienced for the last 8 game worlds. Changing location isn't enough, changing the aircraft is important.

Instead, have an exponential stepped curve, looking something like:

First type free
Second type 10% additional increase to maintenance and training costs
Third type 12%
Fourth type 15%
Fifth type 18%
Sixth type 22%

Because by the time I'm up to the 6th fleet, the small fleet airline is paying out the nose while the big fleet airline can still find those added values by operating sufficiently large subfleets of each type.

I understand this isn't the real world and its necessary to regulate players to be more realistic and competitive, but I believe implementing tiers as described above will add needed variety to the game, be somewhat consistent with real world penalties, and will still serve the function of prohibiting a smorgasbord of fleet types as it will require a scale of economy and cause more careful consideration when choosing fleet types, rather than gaming the arbitrary restraints of the system at 3 fleet types.

Offline Adam42185

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2014, 02:33:06 AM »
I have to say that I agree that there shouldn't be such a large penalty for additional fleet types, so long as you have economies of scale.  I like jetsetters idea of a tiered approach, especially considering the points he made about not allowing subsidiary feed companies.  Just my $0.02.

Offline JonesyUK

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 01:03:39 PM »
The penalty is a bit of a bug bare of mine. Atm I'm planning on replacing my L1011's with A330's. im having to build up a reserve of nearly 200 A330s, which go straight into storage so that I can swap them all in one hit. Ridiculously its more cost effective to do it this way than gradually, Can you imagine a major airline not putting their new aircraft into service as soon as they are delivered? I'm in the same situation with my 1-11s. I want to phase then out, but can't be doing with the hassle of changing 400 in one hit, each with 4-5 routes on them, so I'll keep flying them until 2020 (game end).

It also takes away the fun of the game. I enjoy using different types, especially in the jet age, such as the vc10, trident, etc, but have to stick to the fleet groups that allow a larger variation of ranges and sizes.

IIRC, this rule was brought in to stop the 'grab everything that flies' phase at the beginning of a game world. Maybe the penalty could apply for the first 10 years or so, until the game establishes and the penalty can be phased out.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 01:05:54 PM by JonesyUK »

Offline Elladan

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 04:30:00 PM »
If the reason of the commonality penalty is to slow down early growth then perhaps the better way would be to make it for each fleet type a lump sum plus a variable being a function of a number of planes of that type in operation. That way it will be costly, maybe prohibitively to own just a couple of planes of a type while at the same time making the cost decrease with the increasing number of planes, sort of what happens in real life.
Or as a bare minimum move the penalty from 4th to 5th fleet type to allow for simultaneous replacement of 2 fleet types - many of us operate a short-mid haul and long-haul fleets.

Offline Kadachiman

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2014, 12:11:41 AM »
Example from GW #4

I temporarily had 4 fleet types (6 months game time) while changing out my B727-200Adv to MD90-55 or to B737-400
With the last 14 x 727-200Adv in use I decided to do a cost comparison for the forum

455 aircraft - 4 fleets (BAC 1-111, B727-200Adv, MD90-55, B737-400)
$102,784,865

441 aircraft - 3 fleets (BAC 1-111, MD90-55, B737-400)
$ 28,271.232

3.6 multiple increase from 3 to 4 fleets
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 06:20:01 AM by Kadachiman »

Online gazzz0x2z

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 01:35:49 PM »
IMHO, the purpose is to prevent a few players to be giant behemoth crushing everything. Some players have a few hundred of 777 & likewise aircraft, gushing cash at a rythm smaller player can't compete against. If they can't flood the market with RJs(because of the fleet group penalty), then it is possible for smaller players to survive & thrive. Doesn't prevent big boys to be big. At a big airport with 777s & 737s(or others of the same category), you can already make a huge company.

Offline ZombieSlayer

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2015, 06:51:39 PM »
Per the new GW4 thread in announcements, bumping this to the top. Also adding the idea of marking fleet types for retirement to the list. I know that was discussed somewhere, but can't find it in the feature request forum.

Like types -> Any model in the same group is treated as 1 type. All 737's, all DC-9/MD-80/MD-90/717, DC-10/MD-11 and I am sure there are others I am missing. This would alleviate the pain a bit even if it forces you into certain fleet groups.

"Marked for retirement" -> Would work like this:

Airline A has 300 737-200 Advanced to replace with 737-300's. When the first delivery of the new 737-300 occurs, the clock starts ticking on the 737-200 Adv. 300 frames, roughly a 24-28 per year delivery rate on the 737-300 so it should take about 12 years too fully replace the 737-200's, During that time, the number of 737-200 must be in a constant decline based on a moving average of, say, 6-9 months. As long as the number in the fleet is declining, there is no penalty for operating that extra type. In other words, the 737-200 and 737-300 are essentially "merged" for the duration of the fleet renewal.
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Offline tise1983

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2015, 06:39:44 PM »

Its a good thing those real world airlines never went bankrupt, got bailed out, or got bought by another airline.

Offline ZombieSlayer

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2015, 01:07:11 AM »
Its a good thing those real world airlines never went bankrupt, got bailed out, or got bought by another airline.

Ch 11 Bankruptcy reorganization is not an option in AWS, neither is buying another airline. A bailout is essentially possible by selling off assets, but wven that is not a bailout as use in the context of your post.
Co-Founder Elite Worldwide Alliance
CEO PacAir
Designated "Tier 1 Opponent"

Offline Andre

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 09:11:24 AM »
This is a pet peeve of mine as well, and I've asked for a change for several years.

There are lots of good suggestions in this thread, and I have one as well:

- Keep the fleet commonality costs like they are today, but with no artificial bump on the 4th fleet type, or any number of fleet types. Just remove the penalty. Instead, make the airline have to invest in infrastructure, training materials, simulators, instructors, courses for mechanics and crew, larger/more hangars, offices and so on.. for each added fleet type. Let the first one be free and paid for, the one you start with. But for every fleet type you add after the first, you will have to invest in it.

As a suggestion, adding a "large" fleet type in year 2015 could result in the following costs:

* Administrative costs (training of dispatchers, staff, learning a new aircraft type and buying the paperwork, expanding the offices): 10 million USD
* Flight deck/Cabin crew/maintenance personal training: (buying simulators/simulator time/training at flight academy, manuals, and so on): 25 million USD
* Maintenance: (investing in new hangars, new tools, new ground handling equipment and so on): 50 million USD

Obviously the investment costs would have to be very small for the Small category of aircraft, a bit larger for the Medium category, and at least double for the Very Large category of aircraft. For example adding a Small aircraft could be 5% of the above example, a Medium aircraft could be 25%, and the Very Large could be 200%.

This could also be scaled related to airline size. The above numbers could be the baseline for an airline already operating 1-100 planes. After 100 planes, the costs could be cumulative. For example if Big Airline with 500 aircraft in service want to add another fleet type, make them pay 5 x the sum the 100 plane airline had to. The logic being a larger airline would have even more staff needing training, especially the mechanics and administrative sides of it.

The results of these changes would be much more realistic and similar to the real world, and still make sure that nobody flies one of each aircraft type, and that expansion is not rapid in the beginning of the game worlds.

The way fleet commonality works now is taking away from the positive Airwaysim experience, and is just frustrating and unrealistic.

Sami, please consider this?





Offline FloF

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2015, 12:33:07 PM »
The fundamental problem is that there's no way to argue that while in reality it is not MORE expensive to have 10 B737 if you operate three other fleet types already but LESS expensive. Of course, adding an aircraft similar to the one you're operating already is always cheaper than a new type. But addind a new type doesn't make the types one is operating already more expensive. What the hell did they think?!?

The problem is that the demand side of Airwaysim is totally unrealistic. To compensate for some of the poor realism, such unrealistic an poorly communicated penalties had to be introduced elsewhere.

Apart from that, in reality small carriers are having a hard time competing with the big ones? But do we want such a situation in airwaysim? I don't know... Already as it is it is almost impossible to found a new small airline next to an established player that built a monopoly in a country like Egypt, Japan, or smaller countries like Colombia or Switzerland...

In theory, if the big airline is limited to a few plane types there should be gaps for smaller companies to get going. However, in practice this tool does not work well enough and kills the fun for those players who spent most time playing.

The big problem is not airwaysim tries to penaliyze that big airlines - we all want a bit of challenge through competition, do we? It is rather that oversupplying routes by 100% and more is an option in airwaysim. Nowhere in real life can an airline that operated with 70% load factor survive... 

Offline tise1983

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Re: Expand commonality to "Like Types"
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 02:22:34 AM »
@ZS...I just meant in RL you can look at South west that uses one type...never Bankrupt...And other Carriers that use 10-15 types...bankrupt every 10-30 years...
I kind of agree the penalty is steep on that 4th fleet and maybe should be applied to a 5th or a 6th fleet.  But for the game, a huge penalty should be somewhere or some people would have all the production slots of all the A/C in the game...Where currently it is just limited to all the good A/C lol...so people who want to play have a load of Production slots for crappy A/C...

 

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