I've done some pretty extensive research on real life airlines and took the current systems into consideration to come up with this. I know we've all complained about the viability of smaller/regional planes in the game and running an airline with only small aircraft. Here it is--any comments are appreciated
BTW here is the original codeshare thread (thought this was worth it's own thread): http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,719.0.html
1. Ability to create alliances upon gameworld start (might be moot considering 50 year gameworlds). The reason for this being codesharing would be alliance based.
2. Alliances comprised of a maximum of 25 "normal" airlines and a maximum of 5 codeshare airlines. Codeshare airlines would be limited to 1 per continent (chosen at codeshare airline creation) per alliance and accepted to an alliance upon airline creation. If the alliance were to fold, the airline is put into bankruptcy and must be restarted as a regular airline or a codeshare airline with another alliance. This means a player must be trustworthy and further builds upon the community building aspect of alliances.
3. Codeshare airlines would be restricted to only being able to lease/buy aircraft classified as small or medium.
4. Codeshare airlines can originate flights from any alliance member's base on their continent. If a base is closed, all flights from that base are automatically closed.
5. Codeshare airlines have zero marketing costs and take on a CI equal to an alliance's rating.
6. Staff/headcount costs for codeshare airlines would be cut approximately in half. Codeshare airlines would utilize the staff resources of their alliance members already at bases. Some departments would be eliminated completely (such as ground handling).
*SkyWest has a fleet of 294 small/medium aircraft and just over 11,000 employees--they have ~38 employees per aircraft with 10 codeshare hubs and 163 destinations.
*My DOTM2 airline has a fleet of 131 medium aircraft (single fleet type of BAC 1-11) with 17014 employees and 4 bases--I have 130 employees per aircraft.
*The industry average across all airlines is ~50 employees per aircraft.
You can see the large discrepancy in employees per aircraft. SkyWest has their people spread out across 10 hubs with double the fleet size of my DOTM2 airline and still manage to have 1/3 the employees on a per aircraft basis. Reducing staff costs helps make smaller planes viable.
7. Codeshare airlines would not have to pay the upto 1% alliance fee. Instead, they will be required to pay 5% of revenues (assuming ~10% profit margin, this would be ~50% of profits) to an alliance codeshare profit-sharing pool. The profit sharing pool is distributed to alliance members based on ASM flown from their base airports. This means if an airline flies 1000nm 1x daily from Player A's base for $1,000,000 in revenue and flies 1000nm 1x daily from Player B's base for $1,000 in revenue, both players would get an equal amount assuming equal ASM (1,001,000 * 0.05 / 2 = $25,025). The 5% would be a direct cost on the balance sheet and paid to the alliance codeshare profit-sharing pool every day. Codeshare profit-sharing payments to alliance members would be paid weekly to smooth out day-to-day variations.
8. Codeshare flights are subject to the frequency rules in place. If an alliance member is flying ORD-ATL leaving at 8:00am, a codeshare cannot fly at 8:00am with a net increase in frequency--it must be an hour apart or whatever the rules for that route are in order to maintain fair competition (it is a codeshare afterall).
9. Adjust lease costs and landing fees. Current profit margin potential leads to huge warchests of cash. I currently have 131 BAC 1-11 in DOTM2 and I've been able to purchase 47 of them. The net benefit of purchasing 47 aircraft has been a $2.3 million/week savings on lease costs, which goes directly to the bottom line. Mind you this is only ~7 years into the sim. I don't think a real life airline going from 0 aircraft to 130+ in a 7 year span would be able to retain earnings at this rate. My modest airline flying 95Y 4C config with US domestic routes has seen an annualized company value growth rate of 100%, or roughly 10x the return of most any company in any given year. Airlines with heavier CF demand are even more explosive--I know Curse, only 7 years into DOTM2, has over $3 billion in cash. I believe a fix to this would be decreasing leasing costs and increasing landing fees. The reason for this being landing fees are inescapable. I currently net $2.3 million/week ($120 million/year) due to the fact I own 47 aircraft. If lease costs were reduced and landing fees increased, the bottom line increase may only be $500k or $1 million/week, slowing growth substantially. Lowering lease costs means initial starting money can be reduced as well (perhaps 100% loaned like most real businesses experience starting out?).
1. The relevance of alliances is significantly increased and has a much larger affect on gameplay.
2. Smaller aircraft/airlines are finally viable (just like in IRL).
3. Codesharing becomes a reality through profit-sharing pool and creating synergies with alliance members' labor force.
4. Codeshare airlines should always be able to grow considering airline base system creating new opportunities.
5. Rewards alliance cooperation and helps pad the balance sheets of airlines so that they get a piece of the pie without seeing codeshare routes as "missed opportunities".
6. System can be implemented without completely rebuilding the game engine (I think it should function as an "addon" to the existing code).
1. Slots will likely have to be adjusted slightly. Small planes + high frequency flights = slot hogging.
We all know codesharing is going to happen one day (hopefully sooner than later) and this system I outlined likely won't be implemented as it stands, but hopefully I had some good ideas in there that will enhance the gameplay