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Author Topic: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.  (Read 1018 times)

Offline jacobsroom

  • Members
  • Posts: 84
The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« on: November 13, 2012, 06:22:12 AM »
Well, things aren't looking great for my airline right now -- not so much because of my own choices, I think, but more because of circumstances beyond my control.  At this point, I'm trying to decide whether it's even worth attempting to salvage things.  Here's the story (which, as one of my alliance members has pointed out, sounds like a soap opera).

Back when demand plummeted post-9/11, my airline was doing furious battle with another, somewhat larger airline for control of my base airport.  I narrowly survived the drop in demand, but my competitor did not.  I was able to recover and was well on my way to building myself back up.  Then the following sequence of events occurred in very short succession (not mentioning names):

(1)  Airline A with 3 bajillion dollars opens secondary base at my home base airport.
(2)  Airline A then opens another secondary base at a bigger airport (which is home base for Airline B).
(3)  Airline B, which has 20 bajillion dollars, retaliates by opening secondary base at Airline A's home base airport.
(4)  Airline C, which is also based at the same airport as Airline A and which similarly has approx. 3 bajillion dollars, responds to the arrival of Airline B at its home base by also opening a secondary base at my home base airport.
(5)  Airline D, which has eleventy gazillion dollars, opens secondary base at my home base airport.
(6)  My home base airport houses me, Airline A, Airline C, Airline D, and a fifth, much smaller airline.  The degree of overcapacity is beyond absurd.
(7)  Airline A and the small airline eventually go bankrupt.
(8 )  Me, Airline C, and Airline D remain in my home base airport.

Airline C has swamped virtually all domestic routes with excess capacity, but has been careful not to break the 200% capacity rule.  And since Airline C has 3 bazillion dollars, he can absorb any losses.  Meanwhile, Airline D has focused more on going after international routes, showing a slight preference (I think) for opening routes that I'm already flying vs. routes which may be more under-served.  As with Airline C, Airline D has so much money that he can absorb any losses incurred.

Question: though I do have a secondary base, I'm not sure if it can compensate for the problems I'm having at my main base.  Should I just throw in the towel at this point?

Follow-up question: how much would doing, say, an across-the-board 50% fare reduction affect my competitor's loads?  (If they can deliberately trash my loads, it's only fair that I be allowed to do the same).

Follow-up to the follow-up question: in general, is there any real way to fend off aggressive, well-capitalized airlines in this game (insofar as the overcapacity limits provide little meaningful protection and the number of planes that can be placed at a secondary base has gone up, making life far too easy -- in my view -- for airlines intent on expansion)?

Offline Pai

  • Members
  • Posts: 577
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 06:49:13 AM »
I suggest You need to improve your profitability
1. Reducing fleet types to 3
2. Increase CI
3. Maybe open another base, but this could either save you or kill you, depends on if airline B, C will follow you or not

Pai
Lunar Airways

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 08:32:05 AM »
I suggest You need to improve your profitability
1. Reducing fleet types to 3
2. Increase CI
3. Maybe open another base, but this could either save you or kill you, depends on if airline B, C will follow you or not

Pai

Don't think that's his real concern atm, but it helps.

~ Perhaps a PM to the waring airlines to leave you out of there power struggle, Since it seems your really just caught in-between.

Quote
Follow-up question: how much would doing, say, an across-the-board 50% fare reduction affect my competitor's loads

Drop in the bucket to an airline sitting on billions. At this point, unless your sitting on billions too, its not worth the effort.

Quote
Follow-up to the follow-up question: in general, is there any real way to fend off aggressive, well-capitalized airlines in this game (insofar as the overcapacity limits provide little meaningful protection and the number of planes that can be placed at a secondary base has gone up, making life far too easy -- in my view -- for airlines intent on expansion)?

I think that you might be mistaken. The best way to keep others away is to make your base look less tasteful. Frequency every route with 200% and trim any meat on your routes. Don't leave enough meat for someone to get fat off. Do this and only the stupid players will ever bother you.

The only reason you (anyone) get(s) competition is because you give the idea they can make something happen. Remove that idea and competition will look else where.


That's the best way to go about this, to me personally.


Talentz




Offline SAC

  • Members
  • Posts: 4212
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 09:27:04 AM »
Reducing fares Jacob by 50% would fastrack you to bankruptcy for sure.   When airlines move in your base, which they are obviously entitled to do, then their aim is usually to dominate that base, hence they usually choose airports where they feel they can achieve the desired dominance, as any incumbent based airlines seem defeatable.  I think they'd say "it's the name of the game" unfortunately no matter how unfair you may view it.  They are breaking no game rules. 

How to stop this...?  Be huge and scare airlines off from opening in your base in the first place, or choose a base that will not attract big airlines opening there later in the game.  Choose PHL and don't grow big enough fast enough, for whatever reason, and this would always happen !
...it's not over until I say it's over

Offline Pai

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  • Posts: 577
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 10:34:44 AM »
Be huge and scare airlines off from opening in your base in the first place, or choose a base that will not attract big airlines opening there later in the game.  Choose PHL and don't grow big enough fast enough, for whatever reason, and this would always happen !

Can't agree more, if any player choose the 2nd tier airport, maybe they can get away from bloody battles among top tier airports, but once the grown-ups become financially sound, they're hard to defeat unless they make lots of mistakes.
Lunar Airways

Offline Kadachiman

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  • Posts: 914
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 10:41:44 AM »
150 aircraft, 4 fleet types with 5th on order, all leased (no buffer)
Look like a prime target to me.

I do look at bases and take opportunities.
The base I am now at (under 2 game years) had a big airline fall over (550+) planes....I immediately restarted my game as I was only just getting by...and jumped into this base (so did 5 others after me...lol)
So moral of the story - if you look vulnerable somebody will notice.


Offline LemonButt

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  • Posts: 1895
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 01:29:00 PM »
Where are you based?  Your concern is your own profitability and success--not hurting someone else's.  My recommendation is reduce ticket prices Y -8% and C -20%.  Focus on the higher profit short haul routes--longer routes are less profitable so your break even point is high in LF terms.  Use whatever cash you have to streamline your fleet.  Cut marketing as much as you can--a CI of 30 should be sufficient if you cut prices and compete on price.  All of this advice is from experience of the same thing happening to me and I survived.

Offline SAC

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  • Posts: 4212
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 02:09:33 PM »
Don't comment on that Jacob or you may find your competitors offering 10% as they know your offering 8%   :laugh:
...it's not over until I say it's over

Offline scottwstanley

  • Members
  • Posts: 16
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 03:15:30 AM »
Well, things aren't looking great for my airline right now -- not so much because of my own choices, I think, but more because of circumstances beyond my control.  At this point, I'm trying to decide whether it's even worth attempting to salvage things.  Here's the story (which, as one of my alliance members has pointed out, sounds like a soap opera).

Back when demand plummeted post-9/11, my airline was doing furious battle with another, somewhat larger airline for control of my base airport.  I narrowly survived the drop in demand, but my competitor did not.  I was able to recover and was well on my way to building myself back up.  Then the following sequence of events occurred in very short succession (not mentioning names):

(1)  Airline A with 3 bajillion dollars opens secondary base at my home base airport.
(2)  Airline A then opens another secondary base at a bigger airport (which is home base for Airline B).
(3)  Airline B, which has 20 bajillion dollars, retaliates by opening secondary base at Airline A's home base airport.
(4)  Airline C, which is also based at the same airport as Airline A and which similarly has approx. 3 bajillion dollars, responds to the arrival of Airline B at its home base by also opening a secondary base at my home base airport.
(5)  Airline D, which has eleventy gazillion dollars, opens secondary base at my home base airport.
(6)  My home base airport houses me, Airline A, Airline C, Airline D, and a fifth, much smaller airline.  The degree of overcapacity is beyond absurd.
(7)  Airline A and the small airline eventually go bankrupt.
(8 )  Me, Airline C, and Airline D remain in my home base airport.

Airline C has swamped virtually all domestic routes with excess capacity, but has been careful not to break the 200% capacity rule.  And since Airline C has 3 bazillion dollars, he can absorb any losses.  Meanwhile, Airline D has focused more on going after international routes, showing a slight preference (I think) for opening routes that I'm already flying vs. routes which may be more under-served.  As with Airline C, Airline D has so much money that he can absorb any losses incurred.

Question: though I do have a secondary base, I'm not sure if it can compensate for the problems I'm having at my main base.  Should I just throw in the towel at this point?

Follow-up question: how much would doing, say, an across-the-board 50% fare reduction affect my competitor's loads?  (If they can deliberately trash my loads, it's only fair that I be allowed to do the same).

Follow-up to the follow-up question: in general, is there any real way to fend off aggressive, well-capitalized airlines in this game (insofar as the overcapacity limits provide little meaningful protection and the number of planes that can be placed at a secondary base has gone up, making life far too easy -- in my view -- for airlines intent on expansion)?

Jacob,

I first want to introduce myself as Scott the manager of Jet Reading also know as airline "C" in the above example.  I do not normally post on the forums but I felt compelled to clear the air between you, your alliance members, and anybody else.  I feel it would easy to identify who you are speaking about so I choose to respond in this forum.  I also want to say that I have been in your shoes.  I have failed in a game also because of things that were not in my control.  I felt bad about it.  I like to have a good competitive game.  I have not been playing airwaysim for years but I think I will be playing for a couple of years to come.  I therefore want to address a couple of things so I do not get a bad reputation.     

You are correct in that you have airline "A" to blame for this.  And if airline "A" is reading this then I hope you understand as well.  With both airline A and B in KPHX my home base I knew I was in trouble.  I could not take on airline B but I could take on airline A.  That was my chief competition in KPHX.  I was not going to sit by and watch me lose.  I decided to go head to head with airline A in KPHL.  I had no choice.  As Herman Edwards from ESPN said "You play to win the game."  I was either going to kill airline A or die trying.  Initially when I arrived in KPHL I only went after airline A.  I am sorry if you were affected by it.  If you were on those routes as well all I can say is sorry. 

I do have to take issue with two things that you have said.  First I am no where close to the 200% capacity rule on any of the routes that we compete on.  I would be happy to share with everybody that all my MD90's have 143 seats in them.  Multiply that by the number of daily departures I do on any route we compete.  I don't think you will find any routes like that. The generalization that I am doing that is not fair because it is just not true.  So to quote you I am not "trashing your loads."  Point to me where I am dong that and we will discuss it.  I can't simply pick up now and leave KPHL moving all those airplanes would cost a fortune in slot costs.  This is money that I do not have. 

The second issue that I have is this and I will quote from the start of your message:   "Well, things aren't looking great for my airline right now -- not so much because of my own choices."  I will fully admit I am trying to go head to head with you right now.  You opened up a secondary base of KCVG on January 28, 2006 (game time).  I have a Sky Alliance member who opened a base in KCVG on 16 January, 2005 (game time).  Everybody can check the dates.  That demands a response by me.  I have to protect my alliance member.  My alliance member was in KCVG first.  So I am certainly not going after airline "D".  I am going after you. 

Again it is not my intention to sound nasty or negative.  I am really a nice guy and all my actions where calculated.  If you or any of your alliance members have a problem with what I have done feel free to respond here or by private message.  I will agree this certainly was a bad soap opera.  But I don't want to be made out as the villian.  Again I am sorry for what happened.

Regards,
Scott
Jet Reading

Offline jacobsroom

  • Members
  • Posts: 84
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 05:41:07 AM »
Jacob,

I first want to introduce myself as Scott the manager of Jet Reading also know as airline "C" in the above example.  I do not normally post on the forums but I felt compelled to clear the air between you, your alliance members, and anybody else.  I feel it would easy to identify who you are speaking about so I choose to respond in this forum.  I also want to say that I have been in your shoes.  I have failed in a game also because of things that were not in my control.  I felt bad about it.  I like to have a good competitive game.  I have not been playing airwaysim for years but I think I will be playing for a couple of years to come.  I therefore want to address a couple of things so I do not get a bad reputation.     

You are correct in that you have airline "A" to blame for this.  And if airline "A" is reading this then I hope you understand as well.  With both airline A and B in KPHX my home base I knew I was in trouble.  I could not take on airline B but I could take on airline A.  That was my chief competition in KPHX.  I was not going to sit by and watch me lose.  I decided to go head to head with airline A in KPHL.  I had no choice.  As Herman Edwards from ESPN said "You play to win the game."  I was either going to kill airline A or die trying.  Initially when I arrived in KPHL I only went after airline A.  I am sorry if you were affected by it.  If you were on those routes as well all I can say is sorry. 

I do have to take issue with two things that you have said.  First I am no where close to the 200% capacity rule on any of the routes that we compete on.  I would be happy to share with everybody that all my MD90's have 143 seats in them.  Multiply that by the number of daily departures I do on any route we compete.  I don't think you will find any routes like that. The generalization that I am doing that is not fair because it is just not true.  So to quote you I am not "trashing your loads."  Point to me where I am dong that and we will discuss it.  I can't simply pick up now and leave KPHL moving all those airplanes would cost a fortune in slot costs.  This is money that I do not have. 

The second issue that I have is this and I will quote from the start of your message:   "Well, things aren't looking great for my airline right now -- not so much because of my own choices."  I will fully admit I am trying to go head to head with you right now.  You opened up a secondary base of KCVG on January 28, 2006 (game time).  I have a Sky Alliance member who opened a base in KCVG on 16 January, 2005 (game time).  Everybody can check the dates.  That demands a response by me.  I have to protect my alliance member.  My alliance member was in KCVG first.  So I am certainly not going after airline "D".  I am going after you. 

Again it is not my intention to sound nasty or negative.  I am really a nice guy and all my actions where calculated.  If you or any of your alliance members have a problem with what I have done feel free to respond here or by private message.  I will agree this certainly was a bad soap opera.  But I don't want to be made out as the villian.  Again I am sorry for what happened.

Regards,
Scott
Jet Reading


Thanks for your response.  I will admit that I haven't done a comprehensive analysis of the overlapping routes, so it's certainly possible that I overestimated how much capacity you were providing.  All I can really say, I suppose, is that it became essentially impossible for me to break even: that's how half a billion dollars of cash eventually disappeared, despite my trying everything in my power (including, yes, opening another base) to stem the tide when I found I simply could not keep up.  (On this point, I would like to address something you said about my decision to open a base in CVG.  It was never intended as an attack on your alliance partner, nor was it an attempt to prevent him from gaining a foothold there.  I merely saw that there had been a bankruptcy and that there was consequently a good deal of unfilled demand.  Indeed, I did not wish to open CVG, but was forced to do so because I was increasingly squeezed by the competition at PHL.  For the record: I was in direct competition with your alliance partner on very few actual routes.  Your decision to "go after me" to "defend" your alliance partner was thus based on the inaccurate assumption that I was attempting to "go after him" in CVG, which was simply not the case).

The reason why I posted this, hoping to keep it in the realm of the theoretical (since the specific who/what/where really was irrelevant to the broader questions), was because I truly wanted to know if people thought it was possible to hold off better-capitalized airlines whose needs (or ambitions) require them to eliminate their competition.  It's entirely possible that I don't approach this game aggressively enough to hold my own: the answer to my question may well be that the only good defense is constant, unrelenting offense.

I wish things had turned out better, obviously, but the responses to this have been educational.  It had not occurred to me that leasing most/all of one's planes would be taken as a sign of weakness/an invitation to attack.  It also hadn't occurred to me -- and I'll admit to some naivete on this point -- that decisions about when/where to compete aggressively might be made in loose collaboration with alliance partners.  And finally, it does seem that it's not really possible to play this game without being a little more ruthless than I've tended to be (hoping to achieve dynamic equilibrium isn't entirely viable).  These are things I'll have to keep in mind if and when I return to AirwaySim in the future.

cheers,
jacobsroom

mean123

  • Former member
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 08:44:04 AM »
WOW. Soap Opera it is!

Offline Sanabas

  • Members
  • Posts: 2161
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 09:23:04 AM »
The reason why I posted this, hoping to keep it in the realm of the theoretical (since the specific who/what/where really was irrelevant to the broader questions), was because I truly wanted to know if people thought it was possible to hold off better-capitalized airlines whose needs (or ambitions) require them to eliminate their competition.  It's entirely possible that I don't approach this game aggressively enough to hold my own: the answer to my question may well be that the only good defense is constant, unrelenting offense.

It is very possible to hold off better capitalised airlines. It's not done by being aggressive, it's done by being efficient. Heavy competition will hurt your profit margins. If your profit margins are slim through being inefficient to start with, you'll then start losing money. If your profit margins are bigger to start with, you'll keep making money. This is especially true if you're undersupplying big routes. Makes the place more attractive to big airlines, certainly. But an airline with say 50 Saabs based in Atlanta, flying nowhere more than 6 times daily/300 seats, and flying round the clock, will be practically impossible to BK.

Quote
I wish things had turned out better, obviously, but the responses to this have been educational.  It had not occurred to me that leasing most/all of one's planes would be taken as a sign of weakness/an invitation to attack.  It also hadn't occurred to me -- and I'll admit to some naivete on this point -- that decisions about when/where to compete aggressively might be made in loose collaboration with alliance partners.  And finally, it does seem that it's not really possible to play this game without being a little more ruthless than I've tended to be (hoping to achieve dynamic equilibrium isn't entirely viable).  These are things I'll have to keep in mind if and when I return to AirwaySim in the future.

You can definitely play without being ruthless. The problem is when you make yourself very vulnerable, you won't survive being in an airport with ruthless airlines.

exchlbg

  • Former member
Re: The frustrations of getting caught in the crossfire.
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 12:18:22 PM »
I didnīt want to analyze your whole schedule, but just beginning to overlook routes you serve it made me wonder, why you didnīt fill demand on owned routes first before moving on to highly competitive ones.

 

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