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Author Topic: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools  (Read 2120 times)

Offline JumboShrimp

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New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« on: July 20, 2014, 09:23:08 PM »
Instead of naming aircraft - naming of which can be severely restricted in some countries, due to aircraft naming restrictions, how about we, instead, name schedules, where schedule name would not be subject to any restrictions.  If this is done, players can just leave the aircraft naming on auto, and give meaningful names to schedules.

With the named schedule, for one aircraft, player can assign a specific aircraft to it, or an aircraft pool.

Aircraft pool would be a new concept.  An aircraft or number of aircraft can be part of a named pool.

Back to an aircraft schedule, player would have an option of assigning an aircraft pool to it, instead of a single aircraft.  So let's say we have 35 schedules, all assigned to a specific aircraft pool.  This aircraft pool would have 37 aircraft in it.  35 of the 37 would be flying schedules, while there would be 2 spare aircraft.

The system would automatically manage re-assigning aircraft to schedules.  If one aircraft goes into an D/C/B check, and there is an aircraft in a pool that is available, the system would just swap the available aircraft in, and swap the unavailable aircraft out.

Another benefit this would allow is creating schedules independently of being in possession of an aircraft.  Schedule could be created, assigned to a pool. Also, aircraft ordering pages would allow (at any time) assignment of newly ordered aircraft to a pool.  When the aircraft is delivered, it would be in the pool, and either immediately assigned a schedule, or it would be part of the spare aircraft.

Larger airlines may have, at any given time, 20+ aircraft being in various checks, and the aircraft pool would allow better utilization of aircraft, without doing the re-assignment manually.

Another possibility might be dealing with technical problems with aircraft at HQ or base.  If an aircraft has technical problem, instead of canceling the flight(s), a spare aircraft would fly the route instead, lowering the cancellation rate.


Offline bdnascar3

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 12:00:29 AM »
Pool +1

bakuljav

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 04:18:09 PM »
great idea

Offline Minto Typhoon

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 04:27:58 PM »
You could also cycle aircraft in and out of the pool - replacing old with new, etc. 77W to replace 772 for example.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 09:42:51 PM »
The problem with this is that having spare aircraft flying no routes and on standby to fill in the gaps is actually less efficient than having a 24/7 schedule for those spare aircraft.  The net result wouldn't be any different because the opportunity cost of having spare aircraft is flying additional routes.

I don't see this every being implemented because no matter how you crunch the numbers, they possible benefit is very marginal.  However, an easier to implement and more realistic system would be to simply have a setting where the game automatically recognizes aircraft with no scheduled flights and cycles them in to replace aircraft in maintenance or technical cancellations.  This would require a player to assign a maintenance schedule to keep the maintenance up on the spare aircraft, but eliminates having to create any arbitrary pools--your entire fleet is the pool.  Of course there would have to be some additional limitations such as the aircraft must be a variant capable of flying the route it is replacing without severe payload restrictions.  If an airline chose to have spare aircraft though, the net result wouldn't be any different in terms of revenue etc. if they were to just schedule the aircraft with regular flights, but if you are in a slot restricted airport with nowhere to grow then it makes sense.

Offline Slurve30

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 05:15:39 AM »
Good idea, but I agree with Lemon.  I don't think it will help as much as you might think, as the aircraft are still going out of service and you just have your reserve sitting around a lot anyways.

What I did when I ran out of KORD in the past MT scenario, was I did have some spare aircraft to cover D-Checks, as I always had aircraft in heavy checks.  I had at least one or two spare widebodies at all time, and three or four narrowbodies (my operating fleet was quite large).  They key was I made sure I assigned registration numbers that would make sense to me re: seat configuration and range.  I'm sure other veteran players do the same thing instead of arbitrarily naming their aircraft in numerical or alphabetical order.

For a sample fleet I ran in the previous scenario (with X's being the aircraft tail number):

A333: N3XXUF (standard range and config)
A333: N3XXER (extended range and config)

A319: N9XXUF
A320: N0XXUF (standard range and config)
A320: N0XXYY (all Y class)
A321: N1XXUF

A350: N5XXUF

... and so forth.

I'm basing in Taiwan now so I've had to revamp the way I numbered my aircraft... (with X's being numerical values)

B752: B-50XX (standard config)
B752: B-59XX (max range)

B762: B-62XX
B763: B-63XX

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 08:26:34 PM »
The problem with this is that having spare aircraft flying no routes and on standby to fill in the gaps is actually less efficient than having a 24/7 schedule for those spare aircraft.  The net result wouldn't be any different because the opportunity cost of having spare aircraft is flying additional routes.

Suppose you have 100 aircraft, 5 in middle of checks, 100 schedules from the best #1 to worst #100
1. You may be flying your worst schedule (#100) while not flying your best schedule (#1)
2. You are employing staff for 100 aircraft, while flying only 95 schedules

Suppose I have 100 aircraft, 5 in middle of checks, I have only 95 best schedules, not flying the marginal 96-100
1. I am always flying my best schedules (1-95), never the worst (potential 96-100)
2. I am employing staff for only 95 aircraft, instead of 100 aircraft

I think my airline would be more profitable than yours.

I don't see this every being implemented because no matter how you crunch the numbers, they possible benefit is very marginal.

Not really that marginal.  I am a slacker and always have aircraft sitting that have not yet been scheduled.  At the same time, I have aircraft in middle of checks that are not flying their routes.

Now, let's say I catch up with scheduling and my # of schedules = # of aircraft in the pool - fine, no efficiency gained.  But in the following RL week, I may receive 7-10 aircraft that I am not going to put to work right away.  This arriving aircraft having Pool assigned, they will get to work right away, start flying routes of other aircraft that is in middle of checks.

However, an easier to implement and more realistic system would be to simply have a setting where the game automatically recognizes aircraft with no scheduled flights and cycles them in to replace aircraft in maintenance or technical cancellations.

Nothing would stop you from doing that under the scenario I outlined.  I would however like to maintain control over subsets of aircraft with specific ranges or seating configurations be designated to only schedules most appropriate for them, and that cannot be done without specifying aircraft pools.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 08:35:57 PM »
Suppose you have 100 aircraft, 5 in middle of checks, 100 schedules from the best #1 to worst #100
1. You may be flying your worst schedule (#100) while not flying your best schedule (#1)
2. You are employing staff for 100 aircraft, while flying only 95 schedules

Suppose I have 100 aircraft, 5 in middle of checks, I have only 95 best schedules, not flying the marginal 96-100
1. I am always flying my best schedules (1-95), never the worst (potential 96-100)
2. I am employing staff for only 95 aircraft, instead of 100 aircraft

You are employing staff for 100 and flying 95--I believe the downtime is factored in for vacation etc. when it comes to staffing, so if you are flying every route all the time your staff would go up, no stay constant.  I could be wrong on this, but would make sense since everyone gets vacation time, right?

So if you have schedules ranked 1-100 and want #1 to be flown all the time and #100 flown only if the first 99 are flown, what then?  First, how would the data be represented to other players on the demand graphs?  You would show up as flying the route everyday even though you don't.  Also, slots would end up expiring because you aren't using them.  Second, would be that you would end up creating a feedback loop--schedule #100 would ALWAYS be schedule #100 because RI would never be 100, you would be penalized for not flying daily, etc.  Thus, #100 could actually be #1 but due to "rules" you would set, it would never be able to realize its actual potential.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea--I'd love to have spare aircraft automatically covering routes because it does make sense in some cases, but from a logistics standpoint and building on the existing infrastructure of the game it creates more problems than it solves IMO.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 09:26:26 PM »
You are employing staff for 100 and flying 95--I believe the downtime is factored in for vacation etc. when it comes to staffing, so if you are flying every route all the time your staff would go up, no stay constant.  I could be wrong on this, but would make sense since everyone gets vacation time, right?

No, current staffing levels in AWS is strictly based on how many schedules you have.  If you have 100 schedules, you are employing staff for flying 100 schedules 100% of the time.  If you have 5 aircraft in C/D checks, you are still employing staff for flying 100 schedules. 

Things like vacation time is already built into the model.  A lot of people commented that the staffing levels my be to high, but the reason is that they already account for things like vacation, training etc.

So if you have schedules ranked 1-100 and want #1 to be flown all the time and #100 flown only if the first 99 are flown, what then?  First, how would the data be represented to other players on the demand graphs?  You would show up as flying the route everyday even though you don't.  Also, slots would end up expiring because you aren't using them.  Second, would be that you would end up creating a feedback loop--schedule #100 would ALWAYS be schedule #100 because RI would never be 100, you would be penalized for not flying daily, etc.  Thus, #100 could actually be #1 but due to "rules" you would set, it would never be able to realize its actual potential.

I am not sure I understand your question.  The schedules would not necessarily be ranked, it's just a mental ranking.  I fly first routes that have a lot of demand, and eventually, on later and later schedules, I get to flying to destinations where demand may be only 60% of the capacity of the aircraft, so those would be my last routes to create / fly to.

In my case, I would only have to come up with 95 schedules, and some destinations, say below 60% capacity of aircraft, I would not fly.  But in your case, you would have 5 additional schedules, to less and less profitable destinations.

So let's say your last schedule, #100, will have the worst destinations, with demand of only about 50-60% of capacity of the aircraft, and corresponding LF.  So it may very well happen that you may have an aircraft with the most profitable schedule in C/D checks, you will not be flying that schedule, but you would be flying your worst schedule...

I'm not saying this is a bad idea--I'd love to have spare aircraft automatically covering routes because it does make sense in some cases, but from a logistics standpoint and building on the existing infrastructure of the game it creates more problems than it solves IMO.

Like I said, I may have an aircraft flying to LHR and have a seating configuration that high on premium seating.  I may also be flying to Port Moresby with aircraft with low premium seating.  I don't want these, through automatic swapping of spares get switched.

Or I may have a handful of high MTOW variant aircraft flying to a few destinations with full load.  I don't want the high MTOW and Standard get switched.

The aircraft pools would let you have a fine control over these factors.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 10:18:52 PM »
On the staffing thing, it may be based on schedules but those schedules should also include B/C/D checks to some degree.  If you are flying during those scheduled downtime, surely staff requirements should go up.

On the actual schedules, you're creating a feedback loop and not actually prioritizing anything by profit because the high profit routes are tagged as such because they are flown everytime whereas the low profit routes are only low profit because they aren't flown regularly and penalized for it.  It also doesn't solve the slots expiring and/or data display and/or make you any more profitable because it would all be based on bad data.  For example, if schedule #100 was to LHR then it would almost certainly end up always being #100 because it won't get flown regularly to build up RI and you'd be penalized for not flying the route daily and never come close to realizing the actual potential of the route.  Thus, a feedback loop is created and adjustments are made on a bunch of bad data.

Again, not saying it's a bad idea, but the game IS data and there are a lot of data issues with trying to do something like this.

Offline weasel

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 01:34:10 PM »
The problem with this is that having spare aircraft flying no routes and on standby to fill in the gaps is actually less efficient than having a 24/7 schedule for those spare aircraft.  The net result wouldn't be any different because the opportunity cost of having spare aircraft is flying additional routes.

Not necessarily - In a saturated market it is beneficial to keep your most profitable routes flying during maintenance, especially C&D checks. Covering the checks with a spare plane manually is quite an effort; my guess is that most players - at least those not being online almost 24x7 :) - just let them happen and accept the loss of revenue. So yes, it would be good to have an option to use spare planes in an automated manner, especially for the more casual players who can login to the sim once a day.

E.g. revenue is 1 Mio per week per aircraft, approx. 20 Mio. are lost each year during C-Checks for a fleet of 7. One spare plane could cover 17 planes per year (assuming a 20 day C-check duration), so potentially generating 48 Mio in revenue per year. Probably double of what it would generate when scheduled on routes with weak demand.

Offline bdnascar3

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 03:52:31 PM »
. So yes, it would be good to have an option to use spare planes in an automated manner, especially for the more casual players who can login to the sim once a day.


+1

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 05:45:58 PM »
@weasel and @bdnascar

You guys completely missed the point that in doing so you create a feedback loop.  If you have 99 schedules and open a new one to LHR for #100, that 100th schedule could be the most profitable if it were actually flown, but would never reach profitability because it is not being flown thanks to the prioritization towards the most historically profitable schedules.  Thus, you're going to be creating bad data and making bad decisions based on bad data.

Offline bdnascar3

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 07:03:33 PM »
I guess maybe I did miss the point- because the op was saying that if you had a group of 37 acrft flying 35 routes you could set it so the C checks were done automatically. To me this is the point - having automatic C checks and automatic A/C swaps. Doing it manually is very time consuming and very hard for  those of us who canít check AWS every 2-3 hours.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 07:19:21 PM »
I guess maybe I did miss the point- because the op was saying that if you had a group of 37 acrft flying 35 routes you could set it so the C checks were done automatically. To me this is the point - having automatic C checks and automatic A/C swaps. Doing it manually is very time consuming and very hard for  those of us who canít check AWS every 2-3 hours.

That is the point, however the opportunity cost of having a spare aircraft is not flying that aircraft with a schedule.  So you either have 37 aircraft flying 35 schedules or 37 aircraft flying 37 schedules.  The argument is that when the #1 most profitable aircraft is in maintenance, the schedule isn't getting flown while the #37 most profitable schedule is.  So it you could, theoretically, earn more money by flying schedule #1 instead of #37.  The problem with this is schedule #37 won't get flown regularly, leading to expired slots, poor RI, and the least profitable schedule will be even less profitable.  So if you have an existing aircraft pool and add schedule #37 flying to LHR, which should be very profitable, then the route will never achieve the profitability it should and rank among the most profitable schedules because it is a feedback loop.

Thus (in theory), having 37 aircraft fly 37 schedules with maintenance gaps would be just as profitable/efficient as 37 aircraft flying 35 schedules with no maintenance gaps.

Offline bdnascar3

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 07:48:32 PM »

Thus (in theory), having 37 aircraft fly 37 schedules with maintenance gaps would be just as profitable/efficient as 37 aircraft flying 35 schedules with no maintenance gaps.

In theory - yes - but I guess if I'm trying to treat this as a airline business sim then I would like to be able to reflect RL and have maintenance gaps covered.

Also - I would guess that if I was in head to head with you I would have the advantage early on, as those weeks your AC in check I would be making extra money on those weeks. Later when both were mega airlines, maybe not.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 08:02:20 PM »
In theory - yes - but I guess if I'm trying to treat this as a airline business sim then I would like to be able to reflect RL and have maintenance gaps covered.

Also - I would guess that if I was in head to head with you I would have the advantage early on, as those weeks your AC in check I would be making extra money on those weeks. Later when both were mega airlines, maybe not.

LOL  You would *think* you had the advantage, but in reality you would need to be doing maintenance before you had to (higher costs) in order to achieve the perfectly staggered schedule required to cover all those gaps without your spare aircraft sitting on the ground for inordinate periods of time.  The only other option being flying out of maintenance (not recommended) or creating maintenance gaps and having aircraft grounded, which would defeat the whole purpose of the system.

You can see why doing this would cause more problems than it solves with marginal benefit...

Offline bdnascar3

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 08:09:05 PM »
LOL  You would *think* you had the advantage, but in reality you would need to be doing maintenance before you had to (higher costs) in order to achieve the perfectly staggered schedule required to cover all those gaps without your spare aircraft sitting on the ground for inordinate periods of time. 

True but after the first year it would on a schedule

I guess thats the beauty of this game, we can all have different opionions. I for one, would just like to see some things more simpler to do, maintence and 7 day schedules are probably at the top of list. :)

Offline Andre

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2014, 06:31:51 AM »
I like your suggestion, Jumbo. Maybe it could be implemented alongside the planned automatic rescheduling function people have been wanting (where you swap entire fleet types), because a pool would need aircraft capable of flying at just about the same speed/turnaround time/capacity. My idea of Cost Indexes also could help ease this system. That way an aircraft pool could be different types, for example both 737NG and A320 series in the same pool, or 777 and 747 in the same pool.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Features: Name schedules, not aircraft, Aircraft pools
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »
bump

 

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