What I can't understand is the fact that everybody keeps complaining that AWS misses some realism. Now... Why don't we ask someone who works in the industry to give us some hard figures about admin, maintenance and other fees associated with a type? As you already know, we're just trying to sort out this problem of commonality cost/benefits (according to the point of view), but as you may know, the higher the quantity, the lower the costs. We keep showing nice logaritmic curves, nice formulas, but actually no one know crap about these costs and their pattern... IMHO, we're just wasting time talking without the minimal real knowledge of this issue...
It's extremely unlikely you're ever going to get anyone to give you any figures as to what the costs of obtaining a new fleet are versus additional units of an existing fleet. For one, it's be highly proprietary, but there are also so many additional variables involved that a single company's experience on a single model decision would be extremely difficult to apply on any wider scale outside of that singular decision. It would depend on how different the particular plane was to existing models (both manufacturer and model), what agreements were in place in regards to maintenance and/or parts, whether any additional infrastructure changes were required, and a litany of other considerations.
One doesn't have to work in the airline business to have extensive knowledge on the particular concept of economies of scale and costs of new models into a lineup. It doesn't matter if you're in the Printer business or, in my case, the railroad business, the same economic principles apply, just to different magnitudes. We run through the same considerations when deciding what locomotive models to purchase. And I couldn't tell you even if I wanted to. It isn't, and never was, as simple as "ES44AC versus SD70ACe" in terms of any raw blanket statement of "Buying an SD70ACe is going to cost us $XX million to start and $XX million per unit more than buying an additional ES44AC". Because it depended on what maintenance agreement was purchased, what the lease terms were, where the units were used at, and a host of other considerations. You almost never get an "apples to apples" comparison unless you're talking about very basic items -- large capital purchases are never straight considerations, the suppliers do that on purpose.
Just as an example of one very common consideration when these discussions come up in real-life: Where will these new, "different" units be used at?
That's something that isn't even a consideration in AWS at all. But in reality it means everything
. It's probably the single most important consideration when deciding whether to purchase a new fleet. If your new plane is used airline-wide, you have to train all your employees, significantly increase your material at all your locations with parts, etc (this is how AWS considers new fleets today). If your new plane is used at very limited locations or even a single location, and supplementing your existing units, it's only moderately more expensive than using an existing fleet because you're only stocking duplicitous material and training employees at one point. If you use this new plane on routes/bases where it's the only
plane operating out of a base (so either an all-new base or you move existing models to other bases), you have almost no additional costs at all because you aren't duplicating parts inventory or training at any location at all. At that point the larger consideration isn't what the new model is going to cost you at all, but rather what you give up in future discounts by not buying even more of your current model and/or lose in goodwill by purchasing from an additional supplier.
Regardless, we're never going to get exact figures in AWS even if we wanted. That's never been the point. All we can ask if that behaves
realistically, not that it is
realistic. And not every thing done here we necessarily want
to be straight "realistic". For a host of reasons that don't exist in real-life we purposely want
to make adding additional fleets a hinderance regardless of what happens in real-life. Most importantly is the consideration that since our income/revenue side of things is wholly unrealistic (we make WAY more money in AWS than airlines do in real-life) you can't necessarily use straight realistic numbers in AWS if you're intention is to attempt to mirror some of the considerations that real-life airlines have. The only way to make that same decision that real-life airlines make in regards to the costs involved of an additional fleet, is to make those costs the same hinderance they are in real-life, which is a wholly different sum of money in our game than it is in reality.