I think it is a 2 part problem.
1. the new guys that don't really know what they are doing.
2. guys like you that think they own routes.
In reality, there is no way that your own board of directors would allow you to fly at a loss.
A price war, seasonal package pricing, seat sales - are all short term situations.
I would like to see aws put in either a time limit on price gouging - or a cap that airlines would be unable to go below.
This is all the business side of the game that I'm sure will be addressed in time.
Now that you have broadcast your intention to "run people out" of airports and regions... I think you will have a fight shortly from an alliance or two... I have seen that happen before.
Here's hoping you take a beating.
I agree that it's not realistic. But it has nothing to do with the Board (who would have ZERO problems flying at a loss on singular routes, as long as the overall company made money), it has to do with federal laws. You can't dump capacity on routes to drive a competitor out and then yank all the flights and drive prices back up when they're gone. That's a federal crime in most industrialized nations. But, just as in real-life, good luck proving what is "dumping" and what isn't. You don't know my costs, so you can't decide what's a "fair" price and what isn't. It also wouldn't fly in real life due to organized labor that would prevent the immediate creation and dissolution of capacity.
But there's nothing particularly "fun" about "realism".
If all you want to do is go after routes that no one's on, don't want anyone to go after your routes, and only charge prices comparable to your own, then you might as well play this game with some string, some thumbtacks, and a map of the world. Because without competition there's really no point. You can do whatever you want without competition and make money hand over fist.
Besides, my losses on flights have never been more than a completely
sustainable few grand a week. I think my biggest loss ever was $22,000/week on a route, and that was charging maybe 25% of the default rate. It's not my fault that my operation is so efficient I can turn a profit even well below 50% of default rates while my competition can't even come close. I run a lost-cost carrier, and it's done me exceptionally well, i'm one of the largest carriers in the game despite the fact that I charge, by far, the lowest average ticket prices of any major carrier. I'm turning record profits in a year where fuel prices went up 300%.
It's called playing the game
. I managed to out-maneuver the competition. I can charge signficantly lower prices and still turn a profit, or at least a MUCH smaller loss than they can trying to match me. I don't care if they try to beat me on pricing. In fact I hope
they do. Because it means they're losing more money than me and I know I can sustain it longer (If I couldn't, I wouldn't have tried).
I'm sure my competition thought they didn't have anything to worry about at first -- all I was doing was flying meager 600NM range planes in the area around DFW. They didn't realize I was quietly swooping up all the slots with my regional jets until they were all gone. They were stifled for slots, and their biggest problem was they had crappy commonality from relying on the Used market to supply whatever they could take. They didn't realize I had depended on the F28 because I planned on the next model of my plane to come out with double the range and 100% of the commonality. Suddenly my range doubled without any increase in maintenance costs for a new plane-type, and it was one of the most fuel/labor-efficient planes you could buy. As demand on my lines grew (lower prices help demand grow faster) and I needed more capacity to keep from runnign 10 flights to the same place (not possible due to slots) I turned to the A300 -- an unpopular plane that let me get a large fleet without waiting -- my range again doubled -- and with stopovers on the coasts I could reach destinations in Asia and Europe. I became an international airline with a meager 2 plane-types that also happened to be extremely fuel and labor efficient. I was perfectly positioned to run my competition out as fuel prices went up -- and that's precisely what I did. My airline never
operated at a loss, not even remotely
close to one, but my competition was hemorrhaging cash as fuel prices climbed and/or they let their commonality get out of hand.
They were dropping like flies, I was posting record profits. Hm. What's the problem there? I guarantee you
my "Board" wouldn't have one iota of a problem with that situation.
There's also the dumping that goes on as a result of simple game mechanics. Since we can't originate flights from anywhere other than our home airports, dumping results from people moving planes to other "hubs". I've got places where I'm flying at 600%+ capacity, not because I want
to, but because I have