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Author Topic: Flying small A/C  (Read 1648 times)

Offline Lakitel

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2015, 11:57:28 PM »
Again, point missed. You are flooding and over supplying a route..the both of you. To me that is not a strategy.

 Actually, I think you're missing the point. The point here is to muscle the other person out of the market. Yes, there is a large amount of route oversupply by both parties, but that's not the point. The point is to starve the competitor of market share until they either leave that route or get BK'd. It's really that simple.

Offline schro

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2015, 01:29:27 AM »

Why do you guys say that? I added ATR to fly the routes I talked about earlier and it sent my cost up 2.5 times. That is not negligible. Is it negligible if you have billions in your pocket?

No, it's negligible in comparison to what a 4th fleet type does to your costs. Yes, adding a fleet type increases costs, but for the first 3 types, it is more of a linear scale, where each type's cost depends on the overall size/classification of it and the number of frames that you have. So sure, your costs may increase, but in general a dozen or two frames flying profitably will cover it. I would honestly be shocked to see your total commonality costs go up 2.5x by adding a third type (screenshots of before/after on the commonality page?).

What happens with the 4th type is that ALL costs for each fleet type are increased on a logarithmic scale based upon your total fleet size. Under 300 planes, it's really not a huge deal, and you can go up to 4-6 fleet types and still be able to grow most of the time. Once you get over 300, it becomes a grind, and above 500, it's unsustainable even with a fully owned fleet and monopolies in each of your bases.

You guys seem to be forgetting one key factor here: Frequency. As far as I understand it, given everything else is the same, the person who flies more routes will get the larger market share. That is where prop planes make a killing on SH routes.

 You also have to take into consideration that there are rules in this game that do not let you supply more than a certain amount of demand on a route per day, for the sake of fair competition. In these cases, blocking seats is a good strategy, because you can fly more routes without hitting that maximum supply (Which is 200% according to the game manual). So even though you have a lower LF on the plane as a whole, you actually get more of the market share.

 For example, I have a route where my competitor is flying more flights than me, and if I fly any more planes to that location from my available fleets, I'll hit that oversupply maximum on the first flight. In this scenario I've added 2 more flights with an ATR75, while blocking the seats on all the flights on that route to 55 (if I remember correctly). That way, I fly more frequently, and I'll get more of the market share, even though I'm not completely loading my airplanes. And the planes are in-fact making money because the overhead costs of the ATR75 is quite low, even if you're leasing it.

Your understanding is rather misguided, however, it is consistent with what people that don't understand the game mechanics tend to write on the forums here....

So, a couple of quick points for you -

1. There is a nerf gun that will nerf your loads if you go over the "optimum frequency" for any given route (based on route length and demand). Of course, that number is not revealed to us, but you can find it by trial and error by adding frequency until your sales crater.

2. Frequency is ONE component of MANY that determine how many seats that you sell in aggregate on a given route. Many people believe that is the key to destroying your competitor, but it really isn't. It's usually the way to destroy your own airline. First of all, the overall game engine is "balanced" in a manner that it is virtually impossible for any one airline to bankrupt a well run opponent airline. This may be difficult to see, as most airline managers do make mistakes at some point. Second, dumping capacity on routes even if #1 was not in play will dilute your earnings. At most, I've observed frequency superiority with all other things equal to tip ticket sales 5-10% at the very most. So, in aggregate, if you're supplying 100 seats across 2 frequencies and then add a third frequency for 150 seats supplied, you MIGHT sell 105-110 seats, but pay 50% more in costs by operating that third frequency. Do that to all of your routes and you'll be in trouble rather quickly (as then all your opponent has to do is the Airwaysim equivalent of cow tipping).

3. Limiting seats will give you zero advantage and likely a quick path to bankruptcy if used in the manner you suggest. The ONLY reason that feature was added was for cases when routes were only able to be flown with large aircraft (due to range constraints) and demand wasn't quite there yet. If you're dumping capacity on routes with limited seats (also, considering item #1), you can go ahead and skip through the book to chapter 11.

Offline Lakitel

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2015, 03:02:04 AM »

Your understanding is rather misguided, however, it is consistent with what people that don't understand the game mechanics tend to write on the forums here....

So, a couple of quick points for you -

1. There is a nerf gun that will nerf your loads if you go over the "optimum frequency" for any given route (based on route length and demand). Of course, that number is not revealed to us, but you can find it by trial and error by adding frequency until your sales crater.

2. Frequency is ONE component of MANY that determine how many seats that you sell in aggregate on a given route. Many people believe that is the key to destroying your competitor, but it really isn't. It's usually the way to destroy your own airline. First of all, the overall game engine is "balanced" in a manner that it is virtually impossible for any one airline to bankrupt a well run opponent airline. This may be difficult to see, as most airline managers do make mistakes at some point. Second, dumping capacity on routes even if #1 was not in play will dilute your earnings. At most, I've observed frequency superiority with all other things equal to tip ticket sales 5-10% at the very most. So, in aggregate, if you're supplying 100 seats across 2 frequencies and then add a third frequency for 150 seats supplied, you MIGHT sell 105-110 seats, but pay 50% more in costs by operating that third frequency. Do that to all of your routes and you'll be in trouble rather quickly (as then all your opponent has to do is the Airwaysim equivalent of cow tipping).

3. Limiting seats will give you zero advantage and likely a quick path to bankruptcy if used in the manner you suggest. The ONLY reason that feature was added was for cases when routes were only able to be flown with large aircraft (due to range constraints) and demand wasn't quite there yet. If you're dumping capacity on routes with limited seats (also, considering item #1), you can go ahead and skip through the book to chapter 11.

 I think that saying I don't understand the game mechanics because you make assumptions about my knowledge is misguided in itself.

1. I'm well aware that there is a nerf gun that hits once you surpass optimum capacity. From what I've read, and what I understand from the game, the general pattern is roughly thus:

<1k ~ optimal frequency is every 2 hours

1k - 2k ~ optimal frequency is every hour

2k - 3k/3.5k ~ optimal frequency is every half hour

3k/3.5 > ~optimal frequency is every 15mins.

2. I'm equally aware that many factors go into determining how many seats are sold. That's why I prefaced that statement originally with "Given all else being equal". It is beyond idiotic to assume that one factor will decide a win or fail, especially in a strategy/simulation game. Along with what you said, this strategy requires an extreme level of schedule micro-managing, to the extent that whole schedules can be shifted a few minutes here and there to make sure that you don't just dump insane amounts of supply on the line.

 As I said, the game manual states that it is against the game rules to have 200% supply of any route. Personally, I don't think anywhere below roughly 150% would cause too much hassle. That is, *IF* your primary goal is to take out a competitor (and therefore not focused on making a profit but minimizing losses) and also *IF* you have planes that make this model financially viable for the route that you are flying.

 Luckily for me, it's a short route and the ATRs are pretty good at serving that, even if they aren't filled to capacity.

3. Again, you make an assumption here that I didn't state at all. I said that blocking seats is a good strategy, if the reason for doing that is to increase the frequency of your flights without hitting the oversupply maximum*. And I never said you should block 50% of your seats. In the example I gave, I've blocked 55, which is a little over 20%, which really isn't that much at all.

So to conclude all that: All the things I said in my previous post was highlighting how useful both frequency and seat blocking can be in the strategy of muscling a competitor out. I never said it should be adopted as a standard business model. I never said you should run all your routes like that. In fact, I didn't even presume to say that this is the strategy that the OP witnessed. I merely highlighted how the technique can be useful under certain circumstances.

 If you did follow this strategy as a standard model, then it would happen exactly like you said, which is that the whole airline would collapse under it's own weight.

Edit: I just wanted to add, that I'm not claiming I'm a master strategist and that I know every nuance of this game. I am merely saying that you shouldn't assume what people do and do not know, without even knowing the person.

Edit 2*: When I use oversupply maximum in this sense, I meant the 150% figure I quoted, rather than the 200%, in which case you would have quite a bit of trouble :P.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 03:07:05 AM by Lakitel »

Offline JJP

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2015, 08:57:32 PM »
What is the key to making money flying small A/C to low demand airports? For instance, flying a small jet to 4/5 destinations (52 capacity/ 30 demand on average) I see so many airlines with small aircraft making money..what are the dynamics?

Returning to the opening question, I'd like to weigh in.  I'm currently running a regional airline out of William P Hobby with mostly Saab 2000s.  I know a lot of people poo-poo Saab 2000s, but they have turned out to be a beautiful plane for my airline.  The key for me has been to fly all the routes that no one else wants.  At ~50ish seats, the Saab can get down to some pretty small routes.  And though a turboprop excels at short routes, I have many of my Saabs flying longer legged routes mixed with shorter ones, and they do fantastically well. 

Two things have helped me:
  • A majority of my routes, no one else is flying.  I can rake in monopoly profits (up to 200% standard pricing!)
  • I can sneak into high demand routes that the big boys are flying because you can almost always fill a 50 passenger plane on a 500+ demand route!  ;) and still use monopoly pricing (I have some up to 150% standard on competitive routes)!

One last thing that is huge, if you can manage it, use only one fleet type.  I have two fleet types that serve all of my needs.  This has helped tremendously in keeping overhead down. 

Oh, one other thing, if I had a route all to myself on which I am flying, say, 5 Saabs, and all of a sudden someone joins in, it is really tempting to try to squeeze that person out of that route (how dare he take on my monopoly route!).  This can work in the short term by lowering your pricing even back to standard can really keep the other person's load factors down for a long time since their route image is very low. 

However, with any sort of half-way competent player, they WILL gain market share.  In this case, swallow some pride and remove one or two of your flights from that route.  Take those planes somewhere else where no one is flying and rake in monopoly profits again!  In the meantime, sharing your previous monopoly route equitably allows you to maintain near monopoly pricing on that route and still make fantastic profit.

Hope this helps!   :)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 09:05:31 PM by JJP »

Offline Teadaze

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2015, 09:57:28 PM »
Returning to the opening question, I'd like to weigh in.  I'm currently running a regional airline out of William P Hobby with mostly Saab 2000s.  I know a lot of people poo-poo Saab 2000s, but they have turned out to be a beautiful plane for my airline.  The key for me has been to fly all the routes that no one else wants.  At ~50ish seats, the Saab can get down to some pretty small routes.  And though a turboprop excels at short routes, I have many of my Saabs flying longer legged routes mixed with shorter ones, and they do fantastically well. 

actually saab 2000 is one of the crowd favorite, it is not popular due to normal airline during that year prefers to fly jet instead.

small aircraft has their advantage and limitation. it all depends where your airline is based and what your competition do.

Offline Name_Omitted

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2015, 12:44:57 PM »
Adding to what JJP said, I would go as far as to say small aircraft are EASY, just not ambitious.

Find a good size city within 500 km of lots of options.  do a route-search, and filter by distance.  Start with the shortest route that has at least 30 pax.  Grab it, and move on by route distance.  Find a large city for your overnight flights.  Your first few planes will have 6 or 7 flights a day that no one else will ever challenge you on.  Once you have those routes up to 60 or so RI, you have an aircraft with a very good ROI, it's just the initial investment is so small that you will never have an aircraft that goes toe-to-toe with a medium jet in overall revenue.

The business model is modest, you will never get big, but it is also fuel-shock proof and you will have almost no competition from other players.  It gets boring, it is not satisfying to ambitious players, but it is a good way to get your feet wet on understanding game mechanics.

Offline schro

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2015, 01:42:15 PM »
I think that saying I don't understand the game mechanics because you make assumptions about my knowledge is misguided in itself.

1. I'm well aware that there is a nerf gun that hits once you surpass optimum capacity. From what I've read, and what I understand from the game, the general pattern is roughly thus:

<1k ~ optimal frequency is every 2 hours

1k - 2k ~ optimal frequency is every hour

2k - 3k/3.5k ~ optimal frequency is every half hour

3k/3.5 > ~optimal frequency is every 15mins.

2. I'm equally aware that many factors go into determining how many seats are sold. That's why I prefaced that statement originally with "Given all else being equal". It is beyond idiotic to assume that one factor will decide a win or fail, especially in a strategy/simulation game. Along with what you said, this strategy requires an extreme level of schedule micro-managing, to the extent that whole schedules can be shifted a few minutes here and there to make sure that you don't just dump insane amounts of supply on the line.

 As I said, the game manual states that it is against the game rules to have 200% supply of any route. Personally, I don't think anywhere below roughly 150% would cause too much hassle. That is, *IF* your primary goal is to take out a competitor (and therefore not focused on making a profit but minimizing losses) and also *IF* you have planes that make this model financially viable for the route that you are flying.

 Luckily for me, it's a short route and the ATRs are pretty good at serving that, even if they aren't filled to capacity.

3. Again, you make an assumption here that I didn't state at all. I said that blocking seats is a good strategy, if the reason for doing that is to increase the frequency of your flights without hitting the oversupply maximum*. And I never said you should block 50% of your seats. In the example I gave, I've blocked 55, which is a little over 20%, which really isn't that much at all.

So to conclude all that: All the things I said in my previous post was highlighting how useful both frequency and seat blocking can be in the strategy of muscling a competitor out. I never said it should be adopted as a standard business model. I never said you should run all your routes like that. In fact, I didn't even presume to say that this is the strategy that the OP witnessed. I merely highlighted how the technique can be useful under certain circumstances.

 If you did follow this strategy as a standard model, then it would happen exactly like you said, which is that the whole airline would collapse under it's own weight.

Edit: I just wanted to add, that I'm not claiming I'm a master strategist and that I know every nuance of this game. I am merely saying that you shouldn't assume what people do and do not know, without even knowing the person.

Edit 2*: When I use oversupply maximum in this sense, I meant the 150% figure I quoted, rather than the 200%, in which case you would have quite a bit of trouble :P.

I often make assumptions as I have helped lots of players over the years, so usually just a couple of lines is all it takes for me to start making assumptions. You've put in a lot of time reading the literature available, which is quite impressive.

For item 1, there are actually two variables to consider. The first is the minimum flight separation which is based upon demand, route type and length (this is strictly a penalty variable) and the second is the optimum frequency calculation. For the optimum frequency calculation, from my experience, it is not a material impact to the overall sales and really doesn't matter other than the maximum for any given route.

For item 3, the assumption I used was an easier way to illustrate the point I was making. If your goal is 150% of demand as you state, then you really have no reason to restrict seats sold. When all things are equal other than seat restrictions enabled, the only place that would change seats sold is if they were limited to below what you would have sold otherwise on that route. Meaning, the same flights restricted to 150% of demand will sell the same number of seats as those flights at 190% of demand. The real history behind the seat restriction function was a knee-jerk reaction to deal with the fallout of the anti-monopoly gestapo that was implemented when either demand fell or in cases where a big planes was required for range purposes on a route.

Offline Maarten Otto

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Re: Flying small A/C
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2015, 11:54:58 AM »
Wasn't the frequency benefit disabled last year?  ;)

 

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