I guess as a beginner, I just unwittingly picked the toughest world to play in. Oh well, at least it's not as cramped as the other worlds.
Hopefully the 70s is a totally different beast?
You didn't pick a tough world, you picked a tough airport for 50 seat, short range planes. You could be growing much quicker, struggling less, by restarting in the same airport with different planes, or a different airport with the same planes. If you go with the suggestion I sent you earlier in the week, there are 16 planes on the market right now, and 6-10 good routes with 0 or 1 daily flight.
It's very easy to start right now in JA, provided you pick a good combo of HQ/fleet type.