Thanks for your response, but would you mind explaining your figures? I can't follow you.
What's SW3? What is a demand of 33/34 and what are those 280NM/350NM ranges referring to?
SW3 is the short code for the Fairchild-Swearingen
Metro family. It's a 19 seater. I did use it intensively in the last part of previous GW3, as it allows insanely stupid lines to actually work(like Edinburgh-Kangerlussuaq with a tech stop in Keflavik, or Nice-Bobo Dioulasso with a tech stop in the Algerian desert). I didn't make a lot of money with them, but I had a lot of fun.
As a 19-Seater, though, it is not comfortable. And people will take it in either very short lines, or lines with so few demand that they have no choice(Warsaw-Murmansk, Faro-Rodez.....). Which means that the "too small penalty" Lamomaz is speaking about will fire on a line that is :
(1)With a demand around 35 or more(the average shown when you try to open the line, with the graph with blue lines)
(2)A distance above 350NM on domestic routes, or above 280NM on international routes.
Which means that I can fly - and outpace opposition, on a very big domestic line around 300NM. But I cannot apply the same strategy on the same kind of line at international. I can, OTOH, link very small towns at very long distances. I even had one of them doing 6 flights per day, including a 1120NM night flight, and 5 very short daily flights to a nearby big city. I was doing big money with that plane(well, according to the plane's size, not in absolute numbers, of course.....).
The biggest the plane, the highest the limit. The Saab 2000 is a nice plane for that : its operational range is roughly the same as his "too small penalty" limit. The SSJ allows very long flights(up to 2400NM IIRC), which allows you risky very long flights on routes with limited demand.....but when demand increases, you have to switch to single-aisle aircraft. Like in reality. While on shorter routes, you don't have that problem, and can add more SSJ flights.
Though having a clearer idea of what are really the limits would help a lot. I made recent tries in the USA where I currently play, and it seems that the A148, for domestic flights, can reach 1355NM, but not 1385NM, and it's very similar to the SSJ, but that's not a clear number. Its international limits are probably more around 1000/1100NM, and roughly the same for the SSJ. And Sami said that the penalty is linear : it's small when you slightly exceed the limit, it's huge when you completely overthrow it(don't fly Heathrow-Istambul with SW3.....Or Nantes Le Lamentin with A148E as I did with a tech stop. It's suicide).