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Author Topic: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough  (Read 6683 times)

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 04:34:35 PM »
Tax is annoying, but I'd know it was coming if I looked for it. And if I was online at the end of the month, I would have avoided the problem. It could certainly be done better month to month, but it's only an annoyance.

As for Iksu, 7 x 68 seaters at an average of 1 per fortnight isn't exactly quick growth. I've dropped over 12 million on slots so far, and I am definitely feeling slowed down, I reckon I could easily have an extra 2 mill in the bank, so 2-3 more planes than I have now, if I was able to buy my slots whenever I wanted to. I'm a little surprised he's managed to get that many ATL slots, I've only got 3 sets at ATL, and a new set costs me 700k+, but that's probably also down to me having more slots in total. Would need to test, but I'm interested to know if you have say 10 create route pages open, with the slot costs displayed, and then click create on all of them, will you actually be charged more for the 10th one than is actually displayed? Or will you save a bit of money compared to creating them one by one?

Offline LemonButt

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 05:42:39 PM »
I'm fairly certain that the slot costs go up if you make 10 routes at once because the game is calculating the values on the server when you click confirm versus submitting the value displayed to the server.  If this were the case, you'd have people sending $0 values to the server using their own open route pages :)

Offline Bored

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 09:06:17 PM »
Hi,

Interesting reading and as I see you talking about me as well, I decided to join in.

It's been a long time since I've tried to build a single fleet airline. So, I decided to do a little testing with the current system settings with small aircrafts and chose DH8's. A perfect plane for small ops. But slots are really expensive compared to income I get from these... LemonButt you said that you pay around 400k for slots at CVG? Add 600k to that for those that I paid for ATL... Normally I wouldn't even think about such things but now it is a big issue.

I guess more expensive slots only slows down if you operate a high frequency / small aircraft business model. Normally at this point I would be flying a helluva lot more :)

Offline LemonButt

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2012, 09:17:24 PM »
Iksu--I was pointing out your crazy frequency.  Supposedly many of the changes were to eliminate/reduce what you are doing--high frequency between hubs with smaller aircraft.  Those routes with 1500pax/day are supposed to be served by bigger jets, at least that is the theory.  I can't knock what you're doing because I've done it before myself :)  I assume you're crazy profitably flying 300nm routes with Dash-8 in 2 class config with significant C class demand.

I'm a little behind because I did extra maintenance on my first few aircraft (all CRJs) and reconfiged a few aircraft after my RI got up and made a little money.  I figure cost control is going to be key to my success so I got the cheap CRJs on the market in bad condition and fixed them up to reduce my leasing costs over the long term.

Offline Bored

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2012, 09:27:19 PM »
Oh, OK now I understand your point. Yes frequency effect was tweaked but at least for now it seems I haven't added too many flights. This whole game is more of a testing for me. Unfortunately I missed the testing game and I don't want to go trying out things too much at MT7...

I agree on the cost control. How are those CRJ's working for you? I should also do some repairs on a few of my aircrafts but I figured it's more cost effective to wait for C checks and just live with some cancellations before that. They are not that shabby but I would prefer to have less technical delays and cancellations.

Offline Meicci

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2012, 09:31:46 PM »
I guess more expensive slots only slows down if you operate a high frequency / small aircraft business model. Normally at this point I would be flying a helluva lot more :)

I can only imagine that situation. Flying with Fokkers, and scheduling a plane costs around the same amount of cash as getting a new plane. Don't even want to think about that ratio with Dashes etc..

After all I think that these new changes have an positive effect on the game. Due to higher slot costs and frequency bonus being eliminated, you really have to think about whats the best possible aircraft for your operations.

Earlier, you just grabbed some small props and filled those highly competitive routes, and with lower slot costs, you could expand rather quickly. Now, there's a lot of different tactics being used due to these changes.  For example, I'm using Fokkers, and my competitor has A300's. And the situation on competitive routes is quite even. If someone thinks that's a bad thing, let me hear your point of view.

Offline Bored

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2012, 09:41:52 PM »
So far I've spent about 15M on slots for 7 aircrafts and on leases for the same 7 about 11,5M... It's not a killer but it certainly slows things down a lot. Especially when leases start to kick in, not to mention C checks  :-\

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2012, 03:24:30 AM »
So far I've spent about 15M on slots for 7 aircrafts and on leases for the same 7 about 11,5M... It's not a killer but it certainly slows things down a lot. Especially when leases start to kick in, not to mention C checks  :-\

And that, to me, is a perfect example of how
Quote
Iksu--I was pointing out your crazy frequency.  Supposedly many of the changes were to eliminate/reduce what you are doing--high frequency between hubs with smaller aircraft.
is working.

Iksu has spent 15 million on slots for 7 planes, and 11.5 on leases. I have spent 12 million on slots, and 14 million on leases, because I'm flying to smaller airports. I've expanded significantly quicker, because I'm not flooding the bigger airports (yet. ;)) I also think that my 3 daily flights to ATL will still be close to full when there's a lot more comp, whereas Iksu's 16 daily flights will be significantly affected once someone gets around to sticking 6 a321 flights on the route.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2012, 03:51:47 AM »
And that, to me, is a perfect example of how  is working.

Iksu has spent 15 million on slots for 7 planes, and 11.5 on leases. I have spent 12 million on slots, and 14 million on leases, because I'm flying to smaller airports. I've expanded significantly quicker, because I'm not flooding the bigger airports (yet. ;)) I also think that my 3 daily flights to ATL will still be close to full when there's a lot more comp, whereas Iksu's 16 daily flights will be significantly affected once someone gets around to sticking 6 a321 flights on the route.

Not as significant as you would think.  If someone is going toe-to-toe with A321, his Dash-8 can still get 90%+ LF while the A321's will be closer to 50%--larger jets still can't compete against small props using frequency.  I just went through this in MT7 where I'm also based at CVG.  I was filling up MD-80s until the competition showed up and I was getting 50% LF on a 143 seater.  I switched over to 64 seat ATP and started getting 90%+ LF overnight.  I currently have 35% market share despite the fact I supply less than 25% of the seats available.  This is all using standard pricing with a lower CI and everyone on the route to my knowledge should have a high RI.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2012, 04:12:28 AM »
Right, but you only have 8 daily flights there, and are getting about 450 pax. There's easily enough demand for 20 daily ATP flights. If you flood that route, put on 12 more daily ATP flights, I predict that you only get maybe 100 more total pax, if that, which would be LFs of about 50%. Whereas in previous worlds you'd have more than doubled your total pax, maintained that 90% LF. 6-8 small planes will be better for you than 6-8 large planes on an oversupplied route, because you'll get similar total numbers. But 20 small planes won't be better than 8 large planes, because you'll get similar pax numbers overall. You can no longer drive someone off a big route by flooding it with turboprops. Once CVG-ATL is well & truly oversupplied, I'll be very interested to know how many pax Iksu is getting on his 16 (or maybe 24 by then) daily q400s, and how many you get on 2-4 daily CRJ flights. I predict you'll have nearly full planes, and Iksu won't.

Offline Bored

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2012, 05:36:35 AM »
I have 16 daily flights CVG ATL providing 1088 seats for an average demand of 1380. I won't add any more flights. It will be interesting to see how this route plays out in the future when there will be a lot of competition. I will let you know how it goes.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2012, 06:11:17 AM »
Not too many routes oversupplied yet, but I just found one good example. 19 daily flights, and one airline has 12 of them, using Q400s. One airline has 4 daily 735s. There are about 1000 daily pax. Old system, you'd expect the Q400s to have ~63% of marketshare, about 630 pax, which would be near 80% LFs on the q400s. You'd expect the 735s to only get 21%, 210 pax, sub 40% LFs. That's pretty much the textbook example of frequency bombing to try and keep bigger planes from being profitable.

But now, I'd expect the q400s to be treated as barely 6 flights out of 13. I'd expect them to get 45%, about 450 pax, which gives ~55% LFs. I'd expect the 4 x 735 to get 31%, about 310 pax, and be running at over 60%. The actual piechart says 42% for the q400s, 32% for the 735s. Frequency bombing ISN'T working, one airline basically has 6 superfluous flights, and could put them somewhere else and still get almost all 400 of his current pax on that route.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2012, 06:11:43 AM »
I have 16 daily flights CVG ATL providing 1088 seats for an average demand of 1380. I won't add any more flights. It will be interesting to see how this route plays out in the future when there will be a lot of competition. I will let you know how it goes.

Awesome, thank you.  ;D

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2012, 11:20:38 AM »
This is what happens when you have manual staff hires, and schedule in a hurry before going out for 3 hours.  My CI also went from 21 to 12. :-[

Offline alexgv1

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2012, 12:18:40 PM »
This is what happens when you have manual staff hires, and schedule in a hurry before going out for 3 hours.  My CI also went from 21 to 12. :-[

Leave that bit out of the newb guide too lol  :laugh:

Don't worry we've all been there.
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2012, 04:16:56 PM »
This is what happens when you run out of cash partway through creating a schedule. Note the cash balance, and the time of week.  :laugh:

RL keeps intervening, I really will sit down and start putting more proper posts in this thread shortly. Now have 18 (0r 17.5) planes scheduled, I'm nice and profitable. But my revenue is dropping significantly behind those who started using bigger planes. At least one airline has 20+ a320/a321. How big a turboprop only airline do I think I can make? 300+? 400+? Even bigger?

Offline cmdrnmartin

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2012, 05:13:15 PM »
The crazy thing is, turboprops occupy a unique market advantage in North America, especially on the East Coast.  The only reason RJs exploded in North America was to serve low demand routes across large distances effectively.  With the increase in fuel prices, there has been a reduction of the use of jets to serve smaller markets, especially in Canada.

It simply is not profitable to fly to Regina and Saskatoon with direct service.

These markets are served by jet aircraft only because of the distances involved.  Short of a Q400, no turboprop is going to survive on those routes, its just too much airtime for too little return.  The solution is that the small markets are served by high speed jets, operating on long connecting routes.  So a 737 will leave CYWG and stop in CYQR on its way to CYYC.  Same for CYWG even, a lot of flights from CYEG to CYWG are just a part of multileg routing.

Now, the bigger question is how Westjet, who just bought 40 Q400s is going to use them.  The Q400 is uniquely positioned in Canada.  It's speed is an asset, at 3/4 the speed of a jet, it's withing spitting distance of matching jet travel on routes of up to 900~1100 miles, with significantly reduced fuel burn.  Westjet may honestly be freeing up capacity in its 737 routes, and offering more direct (non connecting) service.  Or it might be hunting for the routes in the Kanata/St Laurence Corridor.

Anyway, to return to the subject at hand, the industry is actually moving away from big jets towards high frequency.  The advent of quiet turboprops, high fuel prices, and passengers who look at the bottom line more then what they are flying on, is going to lead to far more ATRs and Dash's in the market.  Even the big 737 and A320, are being upstaged by the C-Series and E-Series.  Low fuel burn, more frequency, better for the industry.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2012, 03:45:05 PM »
About time I went back to updating this.

To start off, I had a deliberate plan of sticking to turboprops. This is because when you start a year or two into a big game, turboprops are often all you can reliably get. MT is just starting to get a little better now, with MD80s available 4 years in, and some of the less efficient planes like Tu204s and 717s available new. Starting with turboprops, and then branching out into bigger planes, or actually finding bigger planes to start with would make a big difference. Turboprop margins are not big. I've stuck to all turboprops for now, 24 An-140s and 24 Q400s. Just logged in & saw a message that the AN-140 line will shut down if no new orders are received, so I'm going to have to keep regular orders up if I want to retain the ability to get new planes.

I'm thinking about adding a 3rd group, staying with the Russians and getting Sukhoi Superjets for some of the longer routes.

Anyway, the biggest thing I wanted to do was have efficient schedules. As I said, turboprop margins are thin, so need to fly plane as much as possible. First way to do this is just find some nice big routes, and try and make them fit. Screenie of Pittsburgh-Philly planning is attached. Starts at 0030, 45 minute turn, lands back at PIT at 0425, and add another 45 minute turn, and you have a 4:40 round trip and the next route can go at 0510. 0510 I go to IAD, 0915 to DCA, 1330 to JFK, and my last route leaves at 1845. So that gives me 5:45 for the round trip. Now I need to find a route that fits nicely. A bit of experimenting, and I found Milwaukee, which takes 5:50. One short turn in the middle (as attached), and I have a perfect 24 hour schedule. Since I need 5 hours for A-check, and there is a 20 minute difference betwen the optimal turn (45 min) and the minimum turn (25), that means a 4:40 round trip is the minimum needed to leave 1 day out for A-check.

So, that's a good way to start. But will get old fast when it comes to finding new routes, to searching for the near-perfect final route for each & every plane...

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2012, 03:53:32 PM »
So, to save time on future planes, the thing to do is come up with a plan, to have a reference for those round trip times, and how many flights I need/how many pax there are. Philly is 4:40 round trip, and has ~900 daily pax. Milwaukee is 5:50, with about 100 pax. Some people use excel for this, I use notepad. When I put a flight to somewhere, I just use a - next to the name. 2 flights, -- and so on. When the demand is filled, I'll either delete it, or use ------------------------.

Here's what the planning looked like to start with, for everything inside 300 NM. I planned out to 600, and then out past 1000 NM a little later. So now I can pick 3 routes, look at the time remaining, and pick 2 from the list that fit nicely.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: AirBettis - An AWS walkthrough
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2012, 05:18:45 PM »
Going through planning now, to post updated version, schedule the few planes that built up, and post them today. My weekly revenue with 20 AN-140s and 22 Q400s (roughly 2500 seats) is 22.5 million. For those 2500 seats, 42 turboprops, I need 2934 staff, and only 460 (16%) of them actually get on the planes. My staff cost is 4.7 mill/week (21% of revenue). Pax fees/navigation/landing/ground handling adds up to 6.3 mill/week (28%). And this is with LFs of 85+, and fleet utilisation up above 16 hours.

For comparison, in MT I have a rather large airline, 200+ planes, 130 of them LH, 6 fleet groups, 2 bases. I have almost 25000 staff, over 10000 (40%+) of them get on the planes. So ground staff in MT is almost exactly 6 times the ground staff in NAC. That's for at least 15 times the number of seats. Revenue is 10 times as much, thanks to lower LFs and lower default ticket prices in MT. Revenue is 220 mill. Staff costs are 24 mill, just 11% of revenue. Pax fees/navigation/landing/ground handling add up to just under 44 mill (20% of revenue).

So with all turboprops, and 42 of them flying all day, every day, almost full, I spend nearly half my revenue on staff and every day landing fees, with half left over for training, maintenance, marketing, insurance, leases & fuel. Then some profit at the end of that. But with ~220 bigger planes, flying 10% emptier, I only spend 30% of revenue on those same things, leaving 70% for the rest, and much more profit.

I'm close to filling everything inside 400 NM. That means my options are to get bigger planes and fly further, or open a new base and start filling that with 50 seaters. New base costs ~25 million though, at least 2 months' profits. Plus slot costs. 3rd option is to stay a 50 plane airline, buy out leases, and maintain profits.

 

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