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Author Topic: WillAir looking for a new manager  (Read 1087 times)

Offline Sami

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WillAir looking for a new manager
« on: October 28, 2014, 10:18:46 PM »
My tiny test airline is looking for a new manager .. I haven't had a chance participate there as much as would have liked, and someone (who doesn't have an airline in GW4 currently) could now take the CEO position of this fine airline .. In other words a special treat in two ways:

  1) Get started with an existing airline
  2) See how the admin plays ..  ;)


Based in KILM (sole airline), additional base at KABQ. Fleet of 7 Let L-410s. Steady and tiny profit, $23million cash. https://www.airwaysim.com/game/Info/Airline/View/3249/141/

Offered only to a good home ;D


And since the "special treat" #1 is actually coming as a real and new feature at some point, the playing stepping up to this position is required to write a few words (via forum PM, or to this thread) about a week after the transfer about his experiences, compared to what it would be to start a new / empty airline. So you'll need to promise to keep it alive for a few weeks at least..

This will be a one time manual transfer (so no such feature yet..). However there's a possibility that airline CEO transfer feature will be included in the future too. However as mentioned a few rows back, there will be a new feature where users can start with a pre-created (computer generated) small airline with a few planes and routes ready made, or choose to start like currently (empty/no routes). More of this later. ...just saying that y'all won't be too surprised then.


..oh yes, reply here to "apply"  ;)


(Since this is a small airline at an rather isolated airport with only limited competition, this isn't stepping to anyone's toes really; eg. not unfair to anyone.. And is also considered to be preliminary testing of a new game concept)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 10:26:39 PM by sami »

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 11:35:03 PM »
I haven't been involved in GW4, and am unlikely to accidentally go BK. And usually willing to write at length about any airline I've got, have started most kinds of airlines from scratch in the past. So happy to take it over if you want, also to aim for a particular goal if you have on for the airline.

My guess is it won't be that different to starting from scratch though, other than having a bit more ready cash to use/more of a buffer while waiting for expansion routes to build RI.

Offline Mr.HP

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 01:17:19 AM »
Click on the link .... Error, no airline found .... Oh yes, I'm not in GW4, how can I see that information .... So, the players are not in GW4 are invited to run an airline, to see the airline's stat which are available solely to GW4 players  >:(

Offline Sami

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 01:36:27 AM »
That's actually another new feature to come at some point .. to be able to view brief airline data without the game membership. (the links already point to specific games, the interface isn't there yet)

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 02:34:56 AM »
Click on the link .... Error, no airline found .... Oh yes, I'm not in GW4, how can I see that information .... So, the players are not in GW4 are invited to run an airline, to see the airline's stat which are available solely to GW4 players  >:(

Use the 5 minute join a gameworld feature, and you can look at it. But pretty sure 'Profitable with 7 sub-20 seaters in 2 small US airports' tells you what you need to know.

chris.abrams67

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 03:30:08 PM »
Worth posting in the other GW forums?

Most of the readers here will already be involved in this GW.

Offline Sami

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 05:55:20 PM »
Sanabas is now the manager of this airline.

No other tasks, but just play around a bit and report back how starting this way differs from starting with a fresh new airline. Naturally you have more money to the airline's disposal now, but in priciple; how do you feel that the AI (in this case me) picks your starting a/c and routes, etc.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 07:17:00 PM »
No worries.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 08:27:35 PM »
First impression:

All 7 planes have a D-check coming up within a year. I definitely recommend not having that happen with the AI-generated starter airlines.  :laugh:

Revenue is ~700k/week, marketing is ~160k for a CI of 29, and profit in the last couple of weeks have actually been slight losses thanks to a dip in revenue, though for the few months before that it's been a steady ~60k profit/week. Past experience says it's not cost effective, in fact practically impossible to get CI above 30 with a small airline like this, and that you don't really need a CI above 20 even. Halving marketing will double profit. So step 1 is to dump the 122k/week radio campaign, just leave the smallest possible general campaign, 36k/week for newspapers in the local area. I think in general, having the smallest possible campaign should be the rule if people are getting pre-built airlines. It'll be enough to keep CI at an ok starting level, and they can spend more if they want to.

23 million in the bank and debt-free is quite helpful, given it takes under 200k to lease another Let. Also got access to 13+ mill in secured loans, though haven't got any assets. New Let launching in a couple of months, it'll only take 3.5 mill to be the launch customer, so I'll look at that once I've done routes. 2 Lets available in the UM, both ~6.5 years old, unflown with fresh D-checks, 35k & 40k/month to lease, though all the airline's planes are only costing 25k/month for 5 of them, 12k/month for the other 2. Having lease renewal prices change to be more in-line with what the brokers would put the plane on the UM for could be a good idea for a feature request. I could just buy the two that are there, stats say 22 more in storage. But there are also lots of Metros on the UM now, and 60+ in storage. Might get them instead. Will have a look at routes first...

Scheduling page looks excellent. Couple of planes spending overnight at a destination airport, every plane running from 06xx-22xx with no wasted space, so that's good.

Routes themselves all have decent LFs, many at 90+%, so that's good too. 2 routes seat-blocked to 12 pax, even though they sell 10 or 11 seats/day. And looking at demand graph, they've got 9-10 daily demand. Were they lower when you opened them and gave you oversupply warnings? I unblock both of those, go back to offering all 17 seats.

A couple look not so great. KILM-KJAX stands out as a low LF. Looking at it, that's a little surprising, RI is 100, flight time is under 2.5 hours, daily demand is 20-25, and there's no comp. Look at the price, and hitting reset changes it from 166 to 138. Only need to go from 10.5 seats each way to 13 seats each way for that to result in more profit. So I do that. Looking at some of the others, particularly from KABQ, shows similar results. Only 10-12 seats sold, despite underserving demand, with ticket prices ~20% above default. Whereas KABQ-KTEX has prices 10% under default, and is selling 15 daily on ~15-20 demand. KABQ-KFMN also selling 15 daily, but on 25 demand, with prices 20% above default. So guess I might have to do some manual price fiddling on some of these routes. Does make me wonder if my rule of thumb about avoiding 3 hours in HD seats needs revising for these smaller planes, if sales start to be hit a little on 2 hour flights. Since the Let can be re-configged with 15 standard seats, I'll test that later.

Also, part of the reason KILM-KJAX might not be so great is it's quite long, 297 NM, almost full range for the Let. It makes $3000 profit, more than some shorter routes. But uses a big chunk of the day to do so. My preferred stat, especially for small airlines, is profit/hr. KILM-KRDU makes 4,350 profit, ties the plane up for 3:05, that's $1400/hr. KILM-KJAX makes 3,000 profit, but ties the plane up for 5:15, that's only $570/hr.

Takes a little effort, but can work out a rough number for profit/hr that makes a route useful to the airline, see if it's adding or taking away from the overall bottom line. To do so, I can work out the cost for each plane to run, plus split the overhead among all the planes, see what numbers I get. So:

Each plane costs 26k/month to lease.
Marketing is now 36k, so call it 5k/plane.
Staff cost 1.3 mill/month, 190k/plane, biggest expense by far, exacerbated by being in a country with high staff costs. Also, auto-raise salaries is on, as is auto-hire. So I'll turn those off.
Fleet commonality is 195,200, 28k/plane
Engine commonality is 124,292, 18k/plane
Insurance is 59,710, 8k/plane
Maintenance has changed a bit since I last did this. For a small plane, C check now costs 45 A-checks, B check costs 3.05 A-checks. 1 C-check + 11 B-checks + 40 A checks = 45 + 33.5 + 40 = 118.5. So that's now only 10 A-checks/month as the yearly maintenance cost, down a bit from what it used to be. So it's 17k/plane.

So overall, overhead is a bit under 300k/month/plane. Call it 10k/day. Schedule's set up to run from 0600-2300, though some planes have to start a little late or finish a little early, so will say each plane has 16 hours/day to be profitable and earn its 10k. That means routes need to make $625/hr. So even the least profitable routes are at least in the ballpark, so won't actually be hurting the airline.

Anyway, now on to check the available routes...

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 08:38:05 PM »
But first, day ticked over, KILM-KJAX with +20% prices was selling 10.5 seats each way, 3k profit. On a Sunday, with default price, it sold 33 of 34 seats for 4k profit. I'm really looking forward to price management being less of a chore. Would really love the ability to set individual routes to 'default' or 'default +20' or 'default -5', etc, and then just have a button to reset all of my prices based on whatever the current default is. The ability to set daily pricing would actually be a quite useful feature for routes as small as these, put the price higher on Monday & Friday. But not that beneficial overall, and the ability to do so is already there by making individual routes for each day.

The formerly seat blocked routes didn't reach 12 seats, and their prices are 20+% under default, too. KILM-KGSO only makes $600/hr, KILM-KSAV is likely the worst existing route at just $420/hr.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 09:00:58 PM »
Available routes from KILM:

0-100NM
1 possible route (only 7 demand, but would be viable because it only takes 2:15 to do the round trip) - 0 flown.

100-150
1 good route flown twice/day
2 possible routes, 1 flown.

150-200
1 excellent route, flown 3 times/day
2 ok routes, both flown

200-250
0 ok routes, 1 borderline route flown.

250-310
1 ok route, flown.
3 very good routes, 2 flown 3 times daily, other 4 times.

Quote
how do you feel that the AI (in this case me) picks your starting a/c and routes, etc.

Hard to say much about the route choices in this case, because you've basically chosen every viable route. Could maybe fit a 6th plane in, likely better to stick to 5, remove a couple ofthe less profitable flights and replace with slightly shorter ones. So the choices of route are good, but it's not a starting point for a new airline, it's an already filled airport.


From KABQ:
0-100:
no airports

100-150:
1 ok route, not flown
2 good routes, both flown

150-200:
1 ok route, flown
1 excellent route, flown once/day

200-250
5 good routes, 3 flown

250-300
6 good routes, 2 flown
1 excellent route, not flown
2 huge (200 & 500 pax), not flown.

That's a better airport to look at. There are only 2 planes, and they've got a good choice of routes as a starting point for expansion.

The airport itself isn't a great choice as a 2nd base for a small plane airline due to its lack of routes inside 200 NM.

Plane choice is decent, once it's decided to use sub 20 seaters.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 09:03:35 PM »
Is there anywhere in particular you want me to go from here? Stay similar sized? Use that 20 million in ready cash to take advantage of the ability to have more than 4 bases, while avoiding competing much with small airlines, and aiming for 100+ sub 20 seaters?

Any other aspects you want feedback on?

Offline Sami

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 09:16:50 PM »
Up to you...

Mainly interested how starting the game feels compared to a new/empty airline. After all it's a completely different thing, and I'd think mainly newbies will benefit of that (= choose base -> system suggests a few precreated airline choices from that airport with small or medium planes (no LH) -> accept and get started with a ready airline (but RI 0 etc. of course); eliminates the difficult first steps and perhaps makes learning easier .. however this airline is a rather extreme example since it's a tiny HQ airport and plane with poor range; originally started this to see how very small planes work in reality).
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 09:19:40 PM by sami »

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2014, 09:50:56 PM »
originally started this to see how very small planes work in reality).

Better than they used to.  :laugh:

That said, I don't think sub 20 seaters is a good place for a newbie to learn. Margins are just too tight, and some of the things that are helpful are counter-intuitive. But the same idea with ~50 seaters would work very well as a starting point, if they get an already slightly profitable airline somewhere like KPIT or KIND with 5 x F27s, that makes a great starting point to expand from, and those airports easily support 30+ turboprops in the mid 90s. I'd actually give them an RI of say 30, a CI of 10. And it'd only take a good, experienced player all of 1 hour to reach the same point (without the RI/CI), by ordering 5 planes in the first 2 game days, so it's not like their getting a huge boost.

For me, the biggest difference here compared to a new airline is that I don't have to go through the long wait for the trickle of profits to increase to the point I can do more.

So for the experienced player, a start like this basically saves them 30 minutes of work, gets them started slightly quicker, though they're probably going to want to fiddle with the existing schedules still.

For the newer/less experienced/less confident player, a start like this is going to help a lot, because it makes some concepts (like efficient scheduling) more obvious, it's going to make it harder to self-destruct, it gives them a decent base to build from, instead of first having to know how to make that decent initial building block.

Quote
Up to you...

Alrighty, go nuts with the small planes it is.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 10:13:31 PM »
With all the Lets up for D-check inside 12 months, first choice is whether to stick with them or not. They're quite decent planes, hardly use any fuel, and the lack of range isn't a big problem, because even a full plane will struggle to hit the profit benchmark on a 400NM+ route. The longest/biggest route flown from KILM is to KBWI, and even if full it only makes $800/hr. The biggest issue is that it's so slow. Same applies to the also surprisingly decent AN-28/38 family.

The Metro is also a sub 20 seater, and burns about 25% more fuel than the Let does. But fuel's only a minor expense for this type of airline. Metro is far faster, means same number of routes take less planes, makes the profit/hr number climb, and also means the biggest expense, staffing, won't be quite as much. Though the staff will be split among less planes, pushing the breakeven profit/hr number higher. Plus there are quite a few available, the cheap ones have a fair price of 5-6 million and being sold for 3. So I can spend 6 mill to access ~12 mill in secured loans.

So I think Metros & 30 seat EMB-120s rather than Lets.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 10:15:51 PM by Sanabas »

Offline CarlBagot

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 03:37:53 AM »
Or you could of contacted me :P. I have more lets in storage and would sell for around 1.4 mil each, although they are of same age.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2014, 05:00:15 AM »
Or you could of contacted me :P. I have more lets in storage and would sell for around 1.4 mil each, although they are of same age.

Too late now, should've been storing them on the market if you wanted to sell.  :laugh:

Does raise an interesting point though, and I hadn't thought of it before. Where do player-owned planes that are in storage appear on the global stats screen? I assume 'sale & storage' rather than 'in service' which could cause some confusion when looking at the global stats to help you pick a fleet to use. Would be good to change the global stats slightly to show 'player owned' instead of 'in service' and 'broker owned' instead of 'sale & storage', to give an accurate picture of how many planes there are hiding away for the brokers to put on the UM at some point.

Offline CarlBagot

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2014, 06:20:53 AM »
I was for about 5 years straight but nobody took em and was doing C checks on them  :'(

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2014, 07:04:16 AM »
One more benefit to jumping into an existing airline, rather than going from scratch: It makes the initial planning a bit less frantic. I've just gone through the routes from KILM, got everything I plan to fly with Metros & EMB-120s, and have just started to openthe routes. Not rushed, because I can just let the airline tick over & make money.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: WillAir looking for a new manager
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2014, 01:57:16 AM »
Another big difference to starting this way was caused more by the available cash than anything else, and that's the temptation to over-expand quickly, which can be painful when the routes are so small. Which I very much did. I turned 5 x 17 seaters into 9 x 19 seaters + 5 x 30 seaters from KILM, and RI climbs slower than it used to. Spent 11 mill on 4 planes, 3 mill on slots, so a lot of the available cash was gone, and also took me from small regular profit to regular losses. Had me briefly thinking I'd stuffed up badly, so probably good thing I didn't also open a new base at the same time.

Time to close KABQ, going to put new base in KMKE, as it's empty and has a heap (~30) of empty routes that are under 200 NM and sized suitably for a 20 or 30 seater. So those routes should be a bit more profitable a bit quicker. Loans will put me up to ~17 million in cash again for acquiring slots, and I have 10 x 30 + 9 x 19 seaters ready to fly. Will try and leave a ~5 million cash buffer for initial oprating losses, at least until I see how the first month goes. Depends how fast my KMKE slots get expensive, ~12 million may not be enough to schedule all 19 planes. Will find out shortly...

 

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