It seems that this game is opposite to others;
In previous games, every airline pretty much expanded as much as they could in the first couple of years, after which the airlines couldn't do much anymore and let them run on their own, or left the game.
In this game, however, the trend is that the first few years are for (some/most?) very slow, and only after that the game picks up. For those used to the old system this probably is a huge (and bad) difference, but imho it closer relates to real life (disclaimer: I am not in this gameworld). Of course the bad thing still is, that few players have obtained huge amounts of planes while others have nothing, giving them a lot of time to grow before others can pick up.
So, in longer term I see this kind of gameplay better, because it gives the airlines something to do for the whole 4 months the game lasts. The only thing left to do, is to analyze what exactly made this game different from others, and to make sure every1 gets planes at about the same rate.