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Author Topic: Falling company image  (Read 769 times)

Devric

  • Former member
Falling company image
« on: November 03, 2015, 03:01:19 PM »
I have applied for a mentor a few weeks ago but haven't gotten any, and now I really need help/advice from someone who know the game better than I do.

I have a problem with my company image falling. It has been around 50 almost from the beginning until a game year ago. Then it started go down bit by bit. Not much but a trend started. About 4 game months ago it started falling even quicker. Week 38 in 1987 it was 50, week 17 in 1988 it was 45 and now, week 35 in 1988 it has dropped to under 33.

Airline is based in USA, I have 2 permanent and general marketing campaigns for the whole country; billboards and radio. This is more than I've had in the beginning but it doesn't help.

Route punctuality is around 90-95% and average delay 3 minutes.

I have 5 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 that are around 11 years old, 16 BAe 146-200 where the oldest one is 2 years old, and 18 de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 where the oldest one is 3.5 years old.

All aircraft have custom seat arrangements for better comfort. All have the Standard seats except for the DC-9 that have Premium seats in economy class.

All aircraft have a maintenance condition of 97% or more, except for one that is undergoing C check right now (92%).

All routes generate profit. Average l/f is about 75% for economy class and 20% for business. For routes with a l/f over 90% I raise the prices bit by bit until the l/f is 80-90% to generate more profit. For routes with lower l/f I lower the prices but not so much that I don't earn money or if my supply is a bit higher than the demand I don't change the price. If the total supply is higher than the demand, I lower the price a bit hoping to take some pax from the competitors.

Except for the newly opened routes, I have 100% route image on almost every route. A couple have 95% or more.

In week 21 in 1988 I upgraded one base from medium to large. The quick decrease of the company image had already started by then so I don't think that's the problem.

Staff morale is 100% for almost all staff types.

I really don't understand why my company image is falling, and certainly not why it's falling this fast or why it started falling so suddenly. What am I missing?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 03:05:48 PM by Devric »

Offline schro

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 03:06:08 PM »
The game in progress boost gives you a higher CI to start and it lasts for a limited period of time, thus, your CI is artificially inflated during that time. If your CI is falling then that tells me that your underlying marketing spend is not sufficient to support your CI level. That's of course assuming that you don't have punctuality issues, lack of maintenance issues, etc.

Route image, plane age, seat types, etc do not impact your CI. I would also suggest losing the premium seats as the cost/benefit relationship heavily favors costs with no benefits.

What percentage of revenue are you spending on marketing? I generally aim for about 10% of revenue as a target when I start out. Once you're into the mega airline phase of your company's life cycle, it usually drops to about 5% of revenue to maintain a CI of 100.

Devric

  • Former member
Re: Falling company image
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 03:35:19 PM »
Airline was started March 29, 1984, so it's almost 4.5 years old right now. The more rapid decrease of the company image started in late April of 1988, when it was just over 4 years old. This boost you are talking about might have ended after 4 years or something then. That would explain a lot.

I spend just over 1 mil a week on general marketing, those 2 campaigns i mentioned. I have a revenue of just over 7.5 mil a week so about 13% of my revenue is spent on general marketing. I don't have any route specific marketing at the moment.

On the company image page it says "Delays, incidents and accidents will lower your company image substantially. Also the age and condition of your aircraft fleet heavily affects the image." I haven't had any accidents, and delays as well as age and condition of the fleet is great. But you say that plane age doesn't affect my CI? I don't question you, but just want to know which is correct. :)

That seat types etc. would affect the CI or even RI is not mentioned anywhere actually. So why does the game have that? An upcoming feature maybe? If it doesn't affect anything I don't see any reason to have any other seats that the High density, to maximize the amount of seats in each plane. Right? More PAX = more money, and that's what we want. :)

I have tried to build the airline slowly and in a stable manor, not expanding faster than the economy allows etc. Everything has looked good and still looks good except from that I see that the amout of transported passengers started to drop very slightly, and since CI affects the "attraction" of my airline, the reason would be the falling CI I have going on right now.

If 10% of the revenue is enough to raise the CI, and 5% enough to keep the CI at 100 for a huge airline, I don't understand why 13% makes it drop so fast. My marketing staff efficiency is 103%.

Thank you very much for a very quick reply!

EDIT:
Can C and/or D checks affect the CI if I don't have a backup airplane to handle the routes? I mean, the routes for an airplane undergoing D check is not being flown again until the D check is done. Can this cause the routes as being delayed or cancelled? It doesn't say so anyway in any route info anywhere. Is it just the income that is affected?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 03:50:31 PM by Devric »

Offline schro

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015, 04:46:35 PM »
Ah. I had not looked at your airline profile before responding. I'm thinking you're already out of scope on the noob booster, so that's out the windows.

Yes, delays, incidents and accidents will impact CI. Incidents and accidents are still "feature request" phase, so really, it is delays. Generally for CI to drop, your ontime percentage needs to exceed 80% and cancellations to be under 2%. If either exceed those limits, then CI will start tanking. Delays/cancellations can also spike due to world events that happen (you'll see the reason on the delays page as force majure) and those can ultimately impact CI (which is fairly stupid how it works, but that's for another thread/complaint session).

For HD seating, there are some hard limits to that - generally if you're flying more than a couple hours, HD seating is extremely uncompetitive and not recommended. If you're flying short hops of dense routes (i.e. domestic Japan out of HND), then HD seating can be fine.

CI is not affected by planes in C/D check.

So, what I think you'll probably need to do at this point is to diversify your campaigns, as CI growth is a function of both dollars spent and campaigns selected (i.e. 1 campaign for 5m/week is not as helpful to CI as 5 campaigns at 1m/week). So, if you do something like municipality-newspapers/billboards; base country-newspapers/billboards; wholeworld-newspapers/billboards, you'll probably get it going back up - worst case, add another wholeworld-newspapers/radio, and that should be good to about 90. Adding wholeworld-billboards/radio to those other 4 will get you to 100.

Devric

  • Former member
Re: Falling company image
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 05:09:54 PM »
I currently have a cancelation rate of 2.6%. About 50% is weather conditions but I have almost 25% due to aircraft rotation. I have added extra time everywhere to keep the risk at 1% but I guess I can add another 10 more minutes or so everywhere to see if it drops. I have also replaced some DC-9-51 with BAe 146-200 causing a number of pilots being obsolete for large aircraft. I guess I should have retrained them to medium aircraft instead of firing them. The remaining large a/c pilots got mad hehe. Gave them a raise and now their morale is 20%. There has been some cancelations due to unmotivated staff. This must be the reason why. Everyone else is happy. These mad pilots is probably the reason why the cancelation rate went above 2.6% so that should explain a lot.

I will play around with the rotation times a bit, play around a bit with the marketing campaigns too and try to get the cancelation rate down to under 2% to start with and see what happens. You tought me a few new things to look at and to keep in mind, that I didn't know about.

Again, thank you very much for your time and help! :)

Offline schro

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2015, 05:29:48 PM »
Oh, yes. there's your problem. Firing a bunch of pilots will tank your CI. It's a one time hit, but takes a while to recover from.

On the turns, are you padding both the in-base schedule AND outstation with the same amount of time?

2.6% cancellations will tank your CI as well.

If you just transitioned to a new class in a particular base or HQ, that can also cause pay issues - i.e. when giving pay raises automatically, if you have no staff in that group, then the system won't increase their salary. So then, later, if you employ some large pilots, their salary might be set to the wage that was adequate the year your airline started (in my case, 1960), which would be far lower acceptable.

Also, once you fire folks, you'll want to make sure to keep enough hired as time goes on or turn auto-staff back on.

Devric

  • Former member
Re: Falling company image
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2015, 05:57:24 PM »
Yeah I add/have the same time set for rotation both at the destination as the base. Lots of work adding 10 minutes everywhere now since I have a few schedules with 4 flights... The 4th flight's departure will be postponed a whole hour, and the return at base 70 minutes later than before. It has worked out pretty good so far. Only have had to cancel one or two Saturday evening flights since they didn't make it back in time for the A check. :) Costs a bit to buy new slots but hopefully I'll get it back from better CI and higher revenue.

Good to know about the automatic salary setting not raising the salary for a group that doesn't have any employees. Did not know that either.

Thank you again! You are most helpful. :)

Offline mikebravo

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2015, 11:01:20 PM »
If you want higher revenue, and unless you're flying ultra long haul which doesn't seem to be the case, then you should drop those premium seats and replace by regular seats. This will boost your revenue much faster than the CI itself. Don't change it to low-cost seat model though, unless you have <2h flights and enough demand for it + no competition.


That seat types etc. would affect the CI or even RI is not mentioned anywhere actually. So why does the game have that? An upcoming feature maybe? If it doesn't affect anything I don't see any reason to have any other seats that the High density, to maximize the amount of seats in each plane. Right? More PAX = more money, and that's what we want. :)

Premium seats have a positive impact in long or ultra long haul, from my experience. Unless it changed since the first time I played the game, back in 2010 (with another username).
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 11:08:12 PM by mikebravo »

Offline schro

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2015, 12:30:15 AM »
Premium seats have a positive impact in long or ultra long haul, from my experience. Unless it changed since the first time I played the game, back in 2010 (with another username).

Premium seats have a positive impact on ticket sales, however, they do not have a relationship with CI. As you alluded to, one is usually better off with more standard seats than fewer premium seats on a given route.

Devric

  • Former member

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 07:41:34 AM »
The small changes I made have had major impact I must say. Cancelations are now down to 1.9% and punctuality is rising too. I already had the turnaround times at 1% risk for cancelation, but I guess that's not quite enough. 5-10 more minutes and it made a noticable difference.

The marketing have had an impact too. Changed from 2 general marketing campaigns to 5 and with a more diversity. This in combination with the improved turnarouds have caused the CI to go up from 33 to 42 in just over 3 game weeks! :) Transported passengers are up 5% for this period too. I have gotten one more aircraft during this time, but it was just a DHC-8-100 so that's only a small part of the increase.

Just changed the seats in the DC-9s for higher revenue. I put in 4 more C seats and was still able to have 25 more Y seats. And that's the standard seats. Don't have high density in any aircraft. Not even in the DHC-8-100 that has HD seats at default. Pure standard and only Y there. I only fly inside USA so far so I won't even look at better seats yet.

Now I have a problem with profitability instead hehe. Had to cancel one of the marketing campaigns. The CI is rising so fast now anyway that 4 campaigns might be enough. With the 4 remaining campaigns, I have about the same amount of costs as with the 2 previous campaigns, so numbers should go back to green now.

All routes are making profit. Low l/f on a few new routes but I can't afford any route marketing right now. But that will change as time goes by.

I will watch closely what happens during the day today. Some routes had gotten so high l/f that I raised the prices a bit on them too half an hour ago. Hopefully I can continue to raise prices for a while to get higher revenue and better profitability.

Interesting how a couple of small issues had that big of an impact. They made the balance change from one side to the other. But that only makes it fun, that you have to pay attention to details like that. Can't be too much of micro management though, but this level is fine I think. It shouldn't be too easy.

Have had a lot of costs making these changes. New slots and aircraft configuration mostly. Had to take a small loan to keep out of red but that will hopefully change the coming game weeks and months. Everything is looking good, numbers ar getting better and arrows are pointing in the right directions. I have high hopes to make it out of theese dark times hehe. Well, it has already started. Just need to monitor it closely and raise prices to speed it up even further I hope.

Thank you again guys! Your help saved my airline it seems like. Hopefully I will make profit next game week already. It looks good anyway. I'll get back with the progress.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 07:43:49 AM by Devric »

Online gazzz0x2z

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 08:28:41 AM »
Thanks, Devric, for your accurate report. I'm gonna restructure my marketing campaigns right now. And see what it gives.

Offline schro

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 11:48:12 AM »
One thing on the marketing campaigns,when increasing volume of campaigns, don't increase spend over 10% of revenue. As you grow and ci levels of, just upgrade campaigns gradually.

Also, I schedule all my flights with about a 10% chance of delay and that's absolutely fine for spacing purposes. If your running at 10 minutes beyond the 1% time for turns, that's not your problem.

Devric

  • Former member
Re: Falling company image
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 11:33:00 AM »
It's been a few days now and things look good. I'm not making a huge profit but it's a steady and stable development of things. A lot of tweaking here and there right now before I continue to expand. Want the profitability to rise a bit. :)

Offline Tube

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 10:21:09 PM »
Anybody any experience with doing one round of layoff whereby the number of people to let go is more compare to a few smaller groups? Facing out some planes and will have some excess personal in the next few weeks. As the aircraft will gradually leave i could either fire some personal each time an aircraft go or basically have extra staff for a while and fire them at the end when all are retired.

Thoughts?

Offline mikebravo

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Re: Falling company image
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 12:38:45 PM »
I would do partial layoffs, it hits your company image badly so better be careful. Do it slowly and wait for the image and morale to recover before hitting the fire button again. Good luck. Source: did it recently :)

 

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