This request is a spin-off/amendment/whatever of previous feature requests, with some notable differences.
It would work with the current basing feature and would probably be exceedingly easy to integrate.
Opening a station would in my idea work in the same manner as opening a base does today, but:
• It has a much lower plane limit than a base does (5? 10?)
• It adds a lot less overhead/staff cost than a base does, to be financially viable (better scalability with low plane numbers)
• It has no (or a very generous) numerical restrictions (like the maximum of 3 bases today), but retains the current country limitations bases have
• Open the possibility to upgauge a station to a fully fledged base
This would add a lot of depth to the game with (I imagine) very little effort:
• Open up more business models than are currently available. Currently, players are kind of 'forced' into the 'Fortress Hub'-Model. Adding this simple little feature would make it possible for players to operate more along the lines of Southwest/Ryanair style LCCs or even an airline like Pan Am
• Make smaller airports a lot more interesting to players, thus potentially adding competition on routes that would otherwise remain served from one terminus only. Right now, few players will open bases at airports they know won't support 100 aircraft or close to that number. This feature would alleviate that.
• Enhance the playability of small and medium sized countries. For example, Pakistan or New Zealand will possibly become quite boring after the largest cities are served. This would open up the smaller cities to the players there as well, beyond the current basing limits.
The only difficulty I see is how it would work in conjunction with bases. An airline that already has 3 bases should maybe not be particularly encouraged to open a ton of stations as well.
What do you guys think?