I know part of the reason you're doing this is based on my comments, and I admire your initiative. A few comments though:
First off is that you are starting 10yrs in on DOTM with 326 airlines, which is significantly less challenging than the start of MT with 650 airlines. For one, the used market isn't nearly as abundant--you'd be hard pressed to get 8 of the same aircraft in the first week of MT, especially efficient ones (you can play with BAC 1-11 the entire game world in DOTM). The overhead costs on a per plane basis are much higher when you are only able to get 2 aircraft instead of 8. You also don't have to worry about tons of competitors opening new routes on top of you as most of the expansion by competitors is established already unless someone opens a base in Libson and starts opening routes on top of you.
Fuel is also relatively cheap in DOTM. The spikes in MT seem to be much more painful based on my experience.
Sure. But since I'm already busy in MT, I can't do it there.
Your comments prompted me to actually decide to do it (instead of just thinking about it), along with the fact I had a DOTM airline that I was about to BK anyway. But a lot of it was also arguments before MT started, on the impossibility of being successful unless you were frequently online.
In the first 2 weeks of MT, it would have been relatively easy to grab 8 722s or 732s, or use turboprops. Could have got 722s here in DOTM, too. But they're not as good a plane for where I am, which is small routes, everything over 60 pax and under 1600 NM having comp.
Also, if I'm not mistaken, the DOTM world running is using the old pax algorithm and MT is currently using the new algorithm, which is why starting money was boosted since routes would be unprofitable for many months until RI was sufficiently high. This means that going down to $400k would surely put you in negative cash for several weeks/months until things got profitable. If you needed to adjust an aircraft's schedule due to new competition etc, this would be impossible with the new rule in place.
Yeah, DOTM has old system, so it's easier. I disagree I'd have been in that much trouble in MT, but I may be wrong. Since planes 6-8 were only ordered when I had an idea of the first week profits, if they were lower, I'd have left it at 5. And the principle of the new slot system slowing overexpansion still applies here, too. I got 8 planes, and spent 1.8 million on slot fees. Without the restriction, I'd have grabbed 3 more planes with that 1.8 million, then gone to -3 million scheduling those 6 planes, and then logged off for 24 hours with 11 planes to earn me money. I haven't logged back in to DOTM yet to look, will be interested to see how much profit those 8 planes have made.
I also mentioned tax liability--the point isn't that you dodge taxes every single month, it's that you get a tax return at the end of the year by balancing revenues and expenses on an annual basis. There will always be tax paid in many months during the year, but it is impossible to incur the expenses on an annual basis. Using Portugal's 28% tax rate, if you saved up the entire year and spent all your profits in December, you would have $10 million in profits with $2.8 million going in monthly taxes leaving you with $7.2 million in cash. If you spend $7.2 million in December, you still have a $2.8 million profit on the books, which means your annual liability will be $2.8 million * 28% = $784k and the absolute best you could do would be getting a $2 million tax return. So essentially, if you spent every dollar of profit you could, there is always a 7.84% tax override that you cannot avoid paying. So if you earn $100 million in profits in a year, you automatically lose $7.84 million to the taxman in nonrefundable taxes.
I thought your main objection was month to month taxes. Sorry. I have no doubt they'll annoy me in this game, because I'm unable to do month to month micromanagement. I fully expect to not pay more than a tiny amount of tax for at least the first 2 years here in DOTM though. As I get a bit bigger and up to a B credit rating, I get more loan access. That's all I really need to avoid yearly taxes.
I have no doubt you'll be successful in running this airline, but the problem isn't one of the best players in the game running a small airline, it's the average player.
I also picked an airport that while big and having a $billion competitor with 120+ planes, has a not very efficient $billion competitor. Would be different moving into ATL, for example. Though I reckon I could still survive, I just wouldn't get big. I think for this game I'll actually end up #1 for Portugese marketshare, possibly overtake my competition in CV, and possibly send him BK. I'm interested to see.
I'm not doing anything the average player can't do. Sure, it only took me an hour to do that route planning. But it's a simple concept, and anyone else, even brand new, could do the same by spending a couple of hours on it on a weekend. (and if anyone wants more explanation of what those notes to myself mean, just yell.) Other than that, I'm only doing 2 simple things that many newer players don't: I'm sticking to 3 or less fleet groups, and I'm making my schedules efficient. To me, efficient scheduling is one of the most important & underused concepts in the game. But most BW airlines I've looked at as a mentor, their schedules have short turn times, they have very long (or very short) turn times at their HQ, they leave big white gaps all over their schedule.
And while it's different having me do this vs having someone who just signed up do this, I think it's still good to do, so that when people say 'This is impossible. I can't succeed unless I'm online all the time, and big airlines are free to kill me', I can point at this, and say that it is possible, if you are smart about it.
Another (simple) rule to use on this project would be a CI > 30 with the target being 50+ and posting a screenshot of your statistics page as that shows a lot more than just cashflow. When you're 10%+ on marketing for a healthy CI, it makes things more difficult.
OK. I won't let CI stagnate until it hits at least 50 (if it moves higher, great) in my initial expansion, and I'll aim to have it moving towards 80 within 4 years. For comparison, my MT airline went to 60 and sat there, and I've only recently increased marketing to get it moving for 90. I'm happy to post screenies of anything people want to see, and give detailed reports. That includes income statements, marketing budgets, detailed week to week changes, anything else you want.
I agree this would be a bit harder in MT. However, I think I could start an MT airline now, under similar rules, and be successful. Even if people reading it went on the attack, opened a base in my airport, anything else like that. Starting 12 months ago, I definitely could have, the ATR production line was close to empty, and that's what I'd use.
Would people be interested in a step-by-step guide to starting up an airline in MT, using the new system, under similar conditions as I've given myself now? Could be a good resource for beginners. If it was possible to give me a 2nd login set up solely for doing that, if I was trusted to not collude with myself, I'd be happy to do it. Would also be happy for others to set the challenge for me, give me a choice of some starting airports, and have me pick one. I think anywhere size 4 or 5 that wasn't too huge/overcrowded (LHR, FRA, HND, SYD, etc) and wasn't too isolated (middle east, africa, etc) would be fine. Minimal login time, goal would simply to be profitable, survive to the end of the gameworld, see what happens, and make it an in-depth tutorial for new players to look at later. If there are interested people, and sami can be persuaded/is ok with an extra login (maybe a feature request), we could do it with this MT. Otherwise, it's something I might do for a future gameworld, though it would be hard for me to participate in MT without spending more time there, aiming to be huge.