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Online Airline Management Simulation
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Author Topic: Just wondering  (Read 1242 times)

Offline gblomstrand

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Just wondering
« on: July 19, 2012, 03:10:05 AM »
I cannot help thinking that joining late into mil. #4 or #6 guarantees a bankruptcy. Is the games somehow programmed to make late start ups super tough. I have bankrupted several times (each time tweaking strategies ) trying to learn the " key" . It does not matter if you start with open airports , money etc.You will bankrupt. Either I suck ( I watched several others bite the dust  over and over again ). I haved tweaked all variables , the results are failure. It looks like players should ignore joining a scenario that has been underway 4 sometime . Any thoughts , great game ; but frustrating.

Offline ARASKA

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 03:27:04 AM »
You have 5 aircraft and 3 fleet types... ::) i think I see the problem. It will be just as hard to start up at the start of of the game with poor decisionsI was a  like this. I was able to 4 years late and am now the 37th largest airlines. All my large airlines have come from late start ups, as late as 12 years or so... its not a problem with the game.

Online ArcherII

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 03:43:54 AM »
When you enter a game halfway through, the best you can do is get in a decent base with plenty of slots and few (or even better, none) airlines based there. Then you can make a living out of that base or scout for another base around the world.

It could take some time to find a decent airport, but that's the best you can do IMHO. If you base at KDTW, EGKK, LIML or YSSY, it's very probable that you'll encounter tough competition thus jeopardizing your ability to survive, let alone grow.

Get to a smaller base and then scout for a better one. Don't evaluate airports by the bar only. Try to scout their routes, analyze competition, possible equipment to use, and note it down in a paper or something. Then scout another one, until you find an airport where you see potential.

What ARASKA said about number of fleets is right. Maybe it's not that bad for a small airline (it's really bad for a big one), but the key for the first RL week is patience. Patience. Try to find a route with demand that would sustain more than one flight, that way you will save on personnell. Don't spend too much on marketing (but still, add a campaign), since CI will grow very slow over the early stages anyway and you could use that money to sustain your overhead.

Remember that leases will start to kick in after 4 months so you can earn enough cash for your investments. Try to go easy with your expenditure over the first months of operations. Then you'd start adding more planes in order to make more revenue from economies of scale.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 03:57:27 AM by ArcherII »

brique

  • Former member
Re: Just wondering
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 03:45:21 AM »
It is possible to start-up late in a game, not easy, true, but possible.

The hardest part is finding a reasonable base, they can be found, but you may have to limit your options, perhaps looking more towards a secondary airport with a domestic/regional set-up rather than a major hub with lots of long-haul, which tends to be the first sector that gets filled up as airlines expand. In which case, look for a country with a fair number of airports, which also lets you add bases and 'duplicate' your first base with similar routings. being modest in ambition can also mean avoiding heavy competition, so cherry-pick routes as well.

Most of all, dont worry about failing, you get plenty of re-start chances so play away and learn the ropes ; aircraft types, scheduling, maintenance, cash-flow ( e.g, when taxes get withheld, wages paid, etc), buying, leasing and selling aircraft, the best rate to expand, whats not too fast, nor too slow.

Also take the time to look at other airlines, other bases and how much traffic is there, and note them for the future so , if you are lucky, next game, you get there first.

Finally, enjoy it, be it a 10-plane domestic airline or a 200 plane long-haul, each has a challenge and its own rewards.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 04:10:23 AM »
I often start or restart mid-game and if I go bankrupt it's usually my own fault. You're best bet is to try and hide somewhere out of the way. I did well in Nigeria in DoTM3.

This is actually the first scenario in which I have not BKed at all (though I came close and have a $70million loan to prove it) but sometimes it can be less fun being a survivor. In my case I am downsizing every month and generally just breaking even as my planes get older and the maintenance bills go up. It's a combination of my decision to stick with Soviet planes this round and fierce competition in recent years.

Offline lunchbox

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 12:06:12 AM »
It is very possible to be mildly successful mid game, I Bk'ed several years into this scenario.  I restarted in another country at an airport with no other airlines based, but do have some heavy exterior competition.  I've survived 2 years so far with a fleet of DC9's, I am finally making enough that I can pay off my loans and focus on expansion and fleet renewal.  8)

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 12:14:05 AM »
I just started today, in an airport that's crowded but without anybody huge. I expect to be fairly profitable, but we'll see how it goes...

exchlbg

  • Former member
Re: Just wondering
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 12:28:04 AM »
Itīs always the wrong approach some players have towards the game which leeads to frustration. They want success fast.They want positive figures from day three.They want to run a fleet of widebodies on day ten. They want to be top ten by day 100. If something difficult come salong, they go bankrupt. Now that IS frustrating.
The one thing this game needs is patience and for starters, obeing the hundreds of good tips already given throughout forums. And the ability to have fun running a company nice and decent but successfully even in a difficult environment.
I read that the first poster of this thread uses 5 planes in 3 fleets. Hearing those people complain really makes me mad, because this topic comes up repeatedly until nausea throughout all forums. Boys, if you can barely read, just kick it !


Greetings
Christian

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 08:29:21 AM »
I should add, the main reason for my best airline's near failure was that I tried to launch a much larger aircraft than what I had been using and wanted to fly it long-haul because I felt I was out of decent >1000NM routes. Adding a new fleet group is always an expensive proposition, especially if it's a bigger plane. I built my business flying just Tu-134As and Bs which are in the same fleet group and happen to use identical engines then I nearly killed it by adding expensive Tu-154Bs and launching the B-2 just as major competition kicked in.

Today I'm back to flying my original Tu-134s in reduced numbers with my four remaining Tu-154s mercifully leased out to a former ally. I went from taking out gigantic loans to getting back to a decent profit margin, all by sticking with my original fleet group.

In short, once you pick an airport start checking out possible routes and make a decision about what the best single aircraft would be for a majority of those routes. Try to stay close if you can; the more routes you can tack onto a plane each day, the more money you will make. Don't even think about adding a 2nd fleet group until you have at least ten but preferably more of the first plane you choose. Also, don't start flying long-haul until you are running out of shorter flights. Even then, be careful about it.

Basically you want a single type of mid-sized aircraft flying within 1000NM of your base to start.

IPA_thanks

  • Former member
Re: Just wondering
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 12:54:27 PM »
Getting a foothold in DoM can be tricky when you join late and the best slots and airports are unavailable or horribly inaffordable.
I found that keeping an eye on the bankruptcy notices was very useful - as soon as someone went down who operated in our area I'd try for the slots and routes that became available. I assume there would also be a sale of used aircraft (didnīt really see that, may have been too slow to grab them).
Still not clear to me whether it is better to buy (using loans) or lease, financially. Someone will know.

brique

  • Former member
Re: Just wondering
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 12:38:13 AM »
Getting a foothold in DoM can be tricky when you join late and the best slots and airports are unavailable or horribly inaffordable.
I found that keeping an eye on the bankruptcy notices was very useful - as soon as someone went down who operated in our area I'd try for the slots and routes that became available. I assume there would also be a sale of used aircraft (didnīt really see that, may have been too slow to grab them).
Still not clear to me whether it is better to buy (using loans) or lease, financially. Someone will know.

As I understand it, aircraft from BK outfits go to the brokers, who will release them onto the market eventually, they dont tend to flood the market with a sudden influx of a particular type, but rather a more limited selection then top it up as aircraft are sold/leased out.

lease or buy is a tricky one : in the long-term, buying makes more economic sense, but it does depend where you are at the time, financially. if you have a good positive cash-flow, then taxes becomes a problem, and well-timed buying of planes keeps the taxman's greedy mitts off your cheese-pile : if the taxman has already snaffled some, then buying will get it back for you at year-end. And, of course, buying means no lease-fees every month forever. Against that, leasing does mean you can dump planes easier, and in your early years, you may not be able to get the 'perfect' plane for your future needs (it may not be in production yet, etc), so you take what's there, make some money, order the 'perfect' one then dump your leases as the new birds arrive. While a long lease may be cheaper, it costs more to end early, so planning matters there too.

It can also make sense, in the early days, to only lease aircraft up to the 'D-check', then send them back before that big bill hits and lease another : not nice to do to other players tho, so limit that to brokers : they got no feelings to hurt anyway.

Taking out loans to buy does make sense, the repayment ( does depend on global interest rates and your credit rating) is usually not that far off what a lease would cost (esp on a brand new plane) and once paid off, the aircraft is all yours. You can then use that as collateral to take out further loans and buy another, and so on. Eventually, you can leverage your fleet to buy itself, and for not that much more than what it would have cost to lease.

Timing is all important tho, so planning ahead a bit and trying to judge when is the best time to buy, borrow, repay early, etc is a skill probably only learnt the hard way, by the doing of it. But its nice when it all comes together tho :)

Additional thoughts : other plus points are : insurance on owned planes is a LOT cheaper, full cover is not necessary then, so should be considered when calculating overall cost. Value of owned planes are added to your company value, leased planes are not. Owned planes can be sold to recover value, leased planes tend to cost money to get rid off early.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 12:45:50 AM by brique »

Offline knobbygb

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 10:01:25 AM »
I also started late (+8yrs) in the last MT and did well with turboprops only, out of MEM.  This kind of 'second tier' airport keeps you under the radar of the bigger players.  By the end of the game, I had a 400+ fleet, at four bases, mostly owned.  As somebody said - patience and lots of planning is the key.

I think the new passenger allocation rules might make late start-ups just a little easier.  After all, the established players will no longer be able to simply beat small airlines into submission with very high frequency.  OK, so there may now be other methods - lower prices, higher quality seating etc.  but things might be different, at least at first.  Perhaps the mega-players won't get so big so quickly while 'learning' the new methods. Just a thought.


Offline [ATA] - lilius

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Re: Just wondering
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 08:00:41 PM »
Starting up later can be EASIER than starting up when everyone else does. You can be alot more strategic when you already can see the structure of the airlines. It is also alot easier to get decent aircrafts from DAY 1. For example you can enter the game now and can find almost endless amounts of 737-200adv and the will do they job perfectly for a startup. Another idea is to join in and just hang around to see if any big BKs comes up and then BK and jump in and take over where someone left.



« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 12:11:27 PM by lilius »

GDK

  • Former member
Re: Just wondering
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2012, 05:51:28 AM »
I started at late 1983, December and now just 500 over days old. I'm ConnectArgentine in this game and I'm not sitting 24/7 in front my lappy. Just have a look at my airlines.

 

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