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Author Topic: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality  (Read 5231 times)

Online Andre090904

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2020, 10:29:28 PM »
as others have said having 3 fleets is a bit arbritary. Given the game dynamics, and in the real world, most airlines have small, medium and longhaul aircraft. So having a 4th fleet ONLY for transitions and without penalty seems a good idea.

I would suggest the dynamics are that a player designates a transition from fleet X to fleet Y, and from that time for 2 years there is no penalty for the 4th fleet, and X can only go down in numbers.

Also just up the buying frequency numbers later in the game, when fleets are larger than in the beginning.

I have heard that idea many times now and while at first it seems like a good idea, I think in the end it would make things too easy. It would require much less planning when it comes to fleet choice and players would not be forced anymore to make a decision which niche to serve. Do I fly mediums? Do I go long-haul? Will I fly cargo? As of now, players usually cannot fill all the demand as they have to specialize into something. This allows for more fun since different niches/strategies have to be used and one can compete with other players using these strategies/approaches. If we were to add a 4th fleet type (even temporarily with this idea) it would allow airlines to "carelessly" fly 3 fleets and to avoid any specialization/planning. Players would easily fly medium planes, longhaul planes and cargo planes at the same time which would make the game much more boring. There has to be a limitation of some sort making the game more interesting and competition more lively. The 4th fleet penalty is great for this.

Obviously it comes with side effects (transitions). So instead of touching the 4th fleet penalty we should rather see how to make transitions faster. Especially with bigger fleets, transitions are only possible with the help of other players. Hence the idea to increase the weekly aircraft limit.

Another idea that just popped up in my head is that players could determine the "final user" of an ordered plane. Lets say I ordered 50 A320 for an alliance partner. Instead of listing every single plane to this alliance partner via the used market, maybe it would be much easier/faster to declare this alliance partner as "delivery address" at the moment I am ordering the planes. So once the first aircraft gets delivered, it's not me who receives the plane, but the other airline. This avoids the used market completely (and its limits). The money for the plane would be paid by the alliance partner upon delivery to the airline who initially ordered the plane (alliance minimum price obviously or whatever the 2 airlines agreed upon). It does not need to be limited to alliances either. Just 2 airlines partnering up.

The advantages:
1. No more waste of time by listing every single plane to the other airline on the used market (many clicks)
2. Faster transitions of big fleets since the airline doing a transition receives planes directly from the manufacturer and does not need to use the used market. (so basically one airline "donates" the delivery slots to another airline)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 10:43:27 PM by Andre090904 »

Offline rabader

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #61 on: January 15, 2020, 11:59:23 PM »
I think in this debate of the 4th fleet penalty we should be aware that the penalty is also a safeguard for smaller and new players. The current system limits the airline to have only two types of the fleet and having a third one available for transitions. If they're relaxed bigger players will have more fleet types and by consequence, they will be able to dominate more airports. I think is still important to keep that balance. I like Andre's and Gazz's idea to increase the number of aircraft you can buy in the used market, that would speed up transitions.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2020, 01:18:46 AM »
You guys are talking about a symptom of the problem instead of the actual problem: liquidity.  Show me one real life alliance where airlines are placing orders for another alliance member--it doesn't exist, at least nowhere near the extent it does in AWS.  This is a simulation and IRL supply and demand determine prices and vice versa.

Liquidity is the issue, period.  See the attached for the CRJ production line in History and the Future.  There are basically zero aircraft available to the used market, less than 40 orders for new aircraft in production (100/200) and 800+ orders for aircraft that are still in the design phase (700).  The only way to get a CRJ100/200 is to order it new as there is zero liquidity on the used market in spite of the fact the production rate is 76 aircraft per month.  There are ~1000 CRJs in service and growing, but brokers are doing nothing to fill production slots and create liquidity.

This isn't even a popular aircraft model--the popular ones are jammed up for years with zero hopes of new entrants to take delivery.  The popular models are jammed up as airlines create their own liquidity by having alliance members place orders and wholesaling the aircraft to artificially increase a single airlines delivery rate--a role that should be fulfilled by brokers, not other airlines.

You can attack this from the demand side or the supply side, but my recommendation would be both.  Step 1 is that you only allow airlines to lease aircraft for 5+ years OR purchase aircraft with an immediate 100% payment up front.  This forces airlines to make real decisions about allocating capital to help their alliance mates (expensive) or be forced to operate the aircraft themselves for 5+ years on lease.  Likewise for the CRJ700 which is 2+ years off still--there is one airline with 150 CRJ700 on order that I'm sure put down the absolute minimum.  If they were required to pay 100% up front I can guarantee that order would be much smaller and/or placed much later in the game.  Step 2 is get the brokers to buy up ALL empty production slots until the number of sale & storage aircraft reaches 5% of the in service number or 100 aircraft--whichever is less (variants determined by in service ratios).  IRL airlines are financing new aircraft and liquidity is effectively being created by the financiers--the brokers in AWS would be fulfilling this purpose.

The net effect would be more CRJs in the used market that can be acquired without unnecessary lead times (if you started an airline today, CRJs aren't even an option because there are zero available on the used market in spite of plenty new production slots being available).  For popular aircraft, the production lines wouldn't be as clogged and aircraft would be available on the used market through brokers where "in-demand" models could command a premium above the manufacturer's asking prices.  Years ago before "call the used market" was implemented with a finite number of calls each week, you pressed F5 repeatedly until your aircraft showed up because it was first come/first serve (likewise for airport slots).  The end result was creating liquidity where everyone had a fair shot at aircraft and slots.  Implementing these tweaks would do the same thing--making sure the guy who just started his airline yesterday and the legacy airline with 1000 aircraft and mountains of cash have a level playing field to acquire "new-ish" aircraft without waiting years to do it.  This would speed up the fleet replacement/transitions for most and instead of an alliance member having a monopoly on production slots, those aircraft become available for the whole market and assuming the market is working, would price those scarce/in-demand aircraft with premiums and the low volume stuff with discounts.  Want to lock in manufacturer pricing with guaranteed delivery? That requires a 5+ year lease and/or 100% payment up front.

This doesn't solve the fleet commonality penalties, but it does enable players to more rapidly turn over their fleet without being at the mercy of arbitrary factors such as who else in your alliance has the capital to bankroll new orders to help with fleet replacement.

Online Karl

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2020, 01:40:38 AM »
All this talk of alliances!

In an average scenario, what is the percentage of individual players in an alliance vs those who are going it alone?

I have said this before, and I repeat:  I don't not think that alliances should even be a part of AWS until the mid 1990s or so.  Having the equivalent of today's alliances in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s is a benefit that is not historical.




Offline groundbum2

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #64 on: January 16, 2020, 01:41:40 AM »
KLM/AF place joint orders, as do Iberia and BA so it does happen in real life. I'm sure Ryanair has it's subsidiaries LaudaMotion etc getting their planes from it's allocation. So yes it does happen in the real world.

Alliances are also intended to be sociable and for mentoring as well as being business relationships..

S

Offline LemonButt

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2020, 01:47:22 AM »
KLM and AF merged together and are the same company--as are Iberia and BA...

Online Andre090904

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2020, 02:23:54 AM »
@LemonButt

I really like your thoughts there and agree in theory, but I am afraid that implementing your ideas would make the game even more complicated for the standard player than it already is. Let me explain why.

But first:

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This is a simulation and IRL supply and demand determine prices and vice versa.

In AWS too. Planes get more expensive the more orders are being placed. This also determines the sale price on the used market.

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There are basically zero aircraft available to the used market, less than 40 orders for new aircraft in production (100/200) and 800+ orders for aircraft that are still in the design phase (700). The only way to get a CRJ100/200 is to order it new as there is zero liquidity on the used market in spite of the fact the production rate is 76 aircraft per month.  There are ~1000 CRJs in service and growing, but brokers are doing nothing to fill production slots and create liquidity.

Nobody ordered the 100/200 because those versions are rather bad. The production rate of 76 is due to the much more popular 700 version. Brokers might fill the gap, but then again, why would a broker order a plane that apparently nobody wants? In DotM there are tons of A300 (combis/freighters) and nobody really uses them either and I am not sure if the AI brokers actually ordered them new OR if they were generated at game start (like a fixed number determined by Sami). I agree AI brokers should become more active. The problem with that: AI brokers would "steal" valuable production slots and the planes would appear on the used market. It is always more stressful/expensive to buy from the used market than getting planes delivered directly from the manufacturer (not to mention the requirement to be logged in constantly and clicking around to buy planes from UM). So in the end I would not want the AI brokers to be more active as they would spoil the transition process even more (not only players clogging the production lines, but AI brokers too AND worse yet, AI brokers ordering the wrong models with wrong engines).

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This isn't even a popular aircraft model--the popular ones are jammed up for years with zero hopes of new entrants to take delivery.

To be fair, new entrants should not place orders for brandnew models (they don't have the money for that anyways). Instead, they should go after the planes "left behind" in the transition of other airlines. MD80s, 737 classics, A320-100 etc...much cheaper, much better availability. Once the new airline has grown (say at least 2 game years), there will be less crowded production lines since everyone got their planes delivered by then and/or because the UM is literally spammed with offers. In history and the future, there are lots and lots of A320 on the UM and the price has dropped quite a bit in the last few game months. New players could easily start leasing some old planes, build up a network and then modernize once they have cash (and good production slots).

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The popular models are jammed up as airlines create their own liquidity by having alliance members place orders and wholesaling the aircraft to artificially increase a single airlines delivery rate--a role that should be fulfilled by brokers, not other airlines.

Right, but the AI brokers can only offer those planes via the used market and the player is limited to 3 aircraft purchases a week. So in the end it's the same problem as before. Transitions would still take forever. Not to mention that alliances would have even less "reason to exist". Actually, transitions would even be slower because the AI brokers tend to order very unpopular models with the worst engines and ranges.

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Step 1 is that you only allow airlines to lease aircraft for 5+ years OR purchase aircraft with an immediate 100% payment up front.

This would benefit only the well established airlines which can afford to pay 100% upfront. Because leasing new planes is just a big nope (excessive costs). The big airlines will modernize with all the discount prices and perfect production slots while everyone else is left behind paying the expensive lease fees. Not fair.

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Step 2 is get the brokers to buy up ALL empty production slots

Again, having AI brokers "stealing" slots doesn't help much as we would again be limited to buying 3 aircraft per week on the used market. This is no improvement when doing a fleet transition. Planes would be put on UM by AI brokers instead of by alliance partners. The only thing that is different now is the seller, but the core problem remains: not getting aircrafts quickly enough to do a transition. In fact the transition might even be slower because the AI brokers might order unpopular models (CRJ200) while everyone wants the CRJ700. So production slots are wasted, transitions take longer.

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If you started an airline today, CRJs aren't even an option because there are zero available on the used market in spite of plenty new production slots being available

Why would a new airline want brandnew aircraft, though? There are plenty of good alternatives. For example, the F100 is readily available on UM at a cheaper price (and honestly that's even a better plane if you ask me).

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Implementing these tweaks would do the same thing--making sure the guy who just started his airline yesterday and the legacy airline with 1000 aircraft and mountains of cash have a level playing field to acquire "new-ish" aircraft without waiting years to do it.  This would speed up the fleet replacement/transitions for most and instead of an alliance member having a monopoly on production slots, those aircraft become available for the whole market and assuming the market is working, would price those scarce/in-demand aircraft with premiums and the low volume stuff with discounts.  Want to lock in manufacturer pricing with guaranteed delivery? That requires a 5+ year lease and/or 100% payment up front.

As I said it might make sense in theory, but not from a game mechanics perspective. Big airlines can afford 100% upfront and get good production slots, while everyone else would be required to lease them expensively for 5 years. Big airlines are in a much better position while smaller airlines are basically screwed. They can't afford 100% upfront and are now asked to pay the expensive lease price for brandnew aircraft. This is not what I call a level playing field. And I doubt transitions would be any faster because the planes end up on the used market again (just like now). The only difference is that we would not buy planes from alliance partners, but from AI brokers. But we would still be limited to only 3 planes per game week. There is no improvement regarding transition speed.

I think my proposal is better. That means ordering planes, but having them delivered to another airline. That is a much easier method to implement and completely avoids the used market with its limits. People would not need to be online constantly to buy planes on the used market. It is like donating production slots from one airline to another. Call it unrealistic if you want, but in the end it's a game and we have to think within the game mechanics.

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All this talk of alliances!

In an average scenario, what is the percentage of individual players in an alliance vs those who are going it alone?

I have said this before, and I repeat:  I don't not think that alliances should even be a part of AWS until the mid 1990s or so.  Having the equivalent of today's alliances in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s is a benefit that is not historical.

Maybe there are so many solo players because alliances offer no real benefit. I am sure that if there were actual benefits, people would be tempted more to join one.

Also, this is a simulation. It does not necessarily reflect reality completely (see fuel prices, aircraft launches, pax/cargo demand, etc). Alliances in AWS are crucial as a community factor. There is quite some competition between the different alliances and obviously alliance members help each other out with tips, recommendations, analysis etc. Instead of getting rid of alliances we should think how to give them an actual importance in the game. Right now we only have the small Company Image boost (a rounding error I would say). Having the option to donate production slots from one alliance airline to another would be a huge deal and would not only give the alliances a reason to exist, but players the incentive to join one.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 02:36:29 AM by Andre090904 »

Offline LemonButt

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #67 on: January 16, 2020, 03:54:15 AM »
I think you're missing the forest for the trees.  Yes, large airlines can afford to pay 100% up front--but they cannot afford ALL the orders they have today by paying 100% up front.  That is the point--it reduces the massive backlog to something more reasonable, making room for other airlines to place orders.  Furthermore, locking up $100m for a delivery 2 years from now instead of playing the used market is going to be the opportunity cost.  The limit of 3 aircraft per week means you can get 150 aircraft per year off the used market--are you telling me there is a production line that would deliver 3 aircraft per week?  Additionally, is there a real life example of an airline that actually takes 3 aircraft per week (consistently) from a single manufacturer (4 per week if you are getting +1 direct from manufacturer)?  Yes, there is some uncertainty, but if you have a big airline you're putting in the hours anyways.  Additionally, the AI brokers would order variants/configs based on the in service population--70% are CJR100LR in service, so 70% of the AI orders would be CRJ100LR.  The production slots wouldn't be "stolen" but when an empty production slot reaches it's delivery date, the calculation is made if there are enough avail to the used market and if not, purchases it and makes it available (i.e. creates liquidity).  This doesn't hurt airline's ability to order whatever variant/config they want direct from the manufacturer--they just can't lock up slots for 5 years at a time like they can now.

You are correct that new entrants shouldn't be placing new orders--but that is my exact point.  There are no used CRJs available for new entrants and the only way to get them is new in spite of the fact there is tons of production capacity because there is zero liquidity.  I actually didn't even realize how scarce they were because when I started my airline ~1 game year ago there were 5 CRJ on the used market--it wasn't until later I realized there was zero liquidity.  Even the 30 seat EMB120 has ~1200 in service with only 35 in storage.  Sure you can pick up MD80 or A320, but those are 150 seat aircraft versus 50 seats which make zero sense on a route with less than 100 pax demand.  F50 are slow prop planes that get penalized when competing against jets and significantly reduced cargo capabilities on longer routes, especially east/west routes where wind kills the capacity.

Additionally, you're assuming everyone plays the game to run the most efficient or largest airline in the world.  Frankly, AWS is boring as hell if all you're doing is using Boeing and Airbus metal (or Douglas etc.) because any monkey with half a brain can run a successful airline doing that (that's why the popular models are popular).  I've got an all CRJ airline and am ordering new--the result being I have the newest fleet in the game with an average fleet age of ~1 year.  So to answer the question why would a new airline want new aircraft--the answer is the exact same as the popular models: the price on the used market is infinity because there is zero liquidity.

This also goes back to your concerns about the big guys crushing the little guys--since many new airlines are the mercy of the used market, they get crushed by fleet commonality as well.  If I weren't a patient man, I'd add extra fleet types out of necessity--especially if the production line is shut down.  Also if a new airline is using the used market to get everyone else's leftovers, they are also forced into extra fleet types to transition the old metal to new in the coming years.  If an airline had 2 fleet types with 10 year old metal, they would have to likely transition both those fleets in less than 10 years and have 4 fleet types for an extended period, especially if they are ordering new aircraft instead of the next generation's worth of leftovers.

So the solution to reducing lead times for airlines is creating liquidity and making aircraft available and the only way to do that is to prevent alliances from abusing the current system.  Right now there are orders for A320 and B737 that are 7 years out.  Additionally, there are orders 5 years out for MD90 with TONS of open production slots.  That means an airline is going to have an extra fleet type for up to 5 years unless they are gaming the system with an alliance partner.  Right now there are 38 MD90 on the used market, but they are exclusively from 3 other airlines and no brokers--that means 3 players completely control the used market and if a new airline enters the game, is at the mercy of those 3 airlines that may or may not collude with each other and/or buying new.  It may sound ridiculous, but it happens all of the time.

The attached screenshots shows exact reasons why 100% payment up front needs to happen--these airlines had zero intention of flying these aircraft and jammed up the production line, blocking actual operators from being able to order aircraft and manipulating the market.

Online Andre090904

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2020, 04:58:27 AM »
OK, so let me answer again

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Yes, large airlines can afford to pay 100% up front--but they cannot afford ALL the orders they have today by paying 100% up front. That is the point--it reduces the massive backlog to something more reasonable, making room for other airlines to place orders.

This is exactly what we have now. Other airlines (say alliance partners) place orders and then supply these planes to their alliance mates. I don't see how the limit (only allow 100% upfront) would reduce the backlog. If anything, it would only allow big airlines to place orders at all while everyone else will simply skip the launch and hope to survive what they have got so far (old generation models). Nobody in his right mind would lease brandnew planes.

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Furthermore, locking up $100m for a delivery 2 years from now instead of playing the used market is going to be the opportunity cost.  The limit of 3 aircraft per week means you can get 150 aircraft per year off the used market--are you telling me there is a production line that would deliver 3 aircraft per week?

Again, you are talking theoretically. You can get 3 planes per game week, but did you consider real life? I know very few people who would set their alarm clocks at night to login into AWS and buy a few planes every 3 hours. Let's say half of those 150 is realistic and even then you better work from home or have your phone with you at all times.

With my approach (donating production slots from one airline to another) you would not need to do anything at all. The "ordering airline" would declare (while ordering) that the planes be delivered to the other airline. That's literally 3-4 extra clicks in total while buying one single plane off the used market involes dozens of clicks (every single time). The receiving airline would have the planes delivered exactly like own orders (directly from the manufacturer). Given that you can receive about 3 planes a month normally with your own order, you could (with 2 suppliers declaring your airline as "receiving airline") get a whole 9 aircraft per month (about 100 a year). That is more than you could realistically get from the UM - and more importantly, without any effort / time investment at all. Of course those numbers increase the more airlines donate their production slots to you.

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Additionally, is there a real life example of an airline that actually takes 3 aircraft per week (consistently) from a single manufacturer (4 per week if you are getting +1 direct from manufacturer)?

You can't compare real life with a simulation. Even now it takes real life weeks/months to finally get to the point where a production line even becomes active (not to mention you get all your dozens of planes delivered). For the sake of gameplay, I think the current delivery speed is quite good.

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Additionally, the AI brokers would order variants/configs based on the in service population--70% are CJR100LR in service, so 70% of the AI orders would be CRJ100LR.  The production slots wouldn't be "stolen" but when an empty production slot reaches it's delivery date, the calculation is made if there are enough avail to the used market and if not, purchases it and makes it available (i.e. creates liquidity).

This would have to be reprogrammed like this. Certainly possible and not a bad idea. Right now, AI brokers seem to always order the cheapest model with the worst range/engine.

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This doesn't hurt airline's ability to order whatever variant/config they want direct from the manufacturer--they just can't lock up slots for 5 years at a time like they can now.

A single airline can't, but an alliance can. So I don't really see the point. There were 2600 A321-200 orders in history and the future. Most of them from big airlines. Imagine an alliance of ~20 members out of which 5 airlines need this aircraft type. We are not talking about 50 planes per airline, but about 200-600 per airline. This alliance alone would need a minimum of 1500 A321-200 approximately. Of course the slots will be gone (as they always are). Then you have to add the speculators/brokers on top. Popular aircrafts will always be popular.

And again, since only rich airlines could pay 100% upfront, we're losing out on the smaller airlines who will just be left behind. Even if some of those A321-200 pop up on the used market, the price will always be higher than the launch price (large order discount, 100% upfront discount, launch discount). So not only are the small airlines in an disadvantage during the launch phase, but they also are in an disadvantage when it comes to buying from the used market.

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You are correct that new entrants shouldn't be placing new orders--but that is my exact point.  There are no used CRJs available for new entrants and the only way to get them is new in spite of the fact there is tons of production capacity because there is zero liquidity.  I actually didn't even realize how scarce they were because when I started my airline ~1 game year ago there were 5 CRJ on the used market--it wasn't until later I realized there was zero liquidity.  Even the 30 seat EMB120 has ~1200 in service with only 35 in storage.  Sure you can pick up MD80 or A320, but those are 150 seat aircraft versus 50 seats which make zero sense on a route with less than 100 pax demand.  F50 are slow prop planes that get penalized when competing against jets and significantly reduced cargo capabilities on longer routes, especially east/west routes where wind kills the capacity.

Generally speaking I would not recommend any new airline to lease planes that are newer than 5 yrs. In this particular example (need for a plane of about 50-70 seats), I would totally go for the F28, BAe-146's, DHC-8, F70/F100 etc. Especially the F70 is really abundant right now on the UM with very decent prices and the F100 is very versatile and can easily compete with pretty much everything. Even propeller airplanes are decent enough (F50, DHC-8, ATR, ATP, Saab) and it's not true that they get penalities. The only problem is that they are slower and you cannot fill the same number of daily flights. In other words: One would need more planes and more stuff to offer the same number of daily flights / passenger capacity. When it comes to cargo, those medium planes aren't really meant to be cargo planes at all given that they cannot carry heavy cargo. And you compete with all the belly loads from all your competitors in light/standard cargo. So cargo really can be neglected for medium planes.

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Additionally, you're assuming everyone plays the game to run the most efficient or largest airline in the world. Frankly, AWS is boring as hell if all you're doing is using Boeing and Airbus metal (or Douglas etc.) because any monkey with half a brain can run a successful airline doing that (that's why the popular models are popular).  I've got an all CRJ airline and am ordering new--the result being I have the newest fleet in the game with an average fleet age of ~1 year.  So to answer the question why would a new airline want new aircraft--the answer is the exact same as the popular models: the price on the used market is infinity because there is zero liquidity.

I have used quite weird models in the past too (100x IL-96-400T, Superjets, Comacs, even tech-stopped NAMC and double tech-stopped DC6B). By the way, those NAMC were clearly better than the 727 in ORD, believe it or not. It's definitely fun to try out new things, new niches, new approaches. But you shouldnt complain about unpopular planes not being available. When I flew 100 IL-96-400T in last GW2, I was the only airline in the whole game who ordered them (there were not even orders for the pax version). The production line closed as soon as I got my last plane delivered. Since the first deliveries were in 2010 and the game end in 2035, that was no big deal. What I try to say is: New ideas are always good, but require careful planning. Just because I want something, it does not mean it will (or should) work. There is no success guarantee in this game. And even with boring fleets like Boeing, Airbus and MD80, people still manage to fail. So not sure if calling those players monkeys with half a brain is very nice.

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This also goes back to your concerns about the big guys crushing the little guys--since many new airlines are the mercy of the used market, they get crushed by fleet commonality as well.  If I weren't a patient man, I'd add extra fleet types out of necessity--especially if the production line is shut down.

But see, this is exactly the point. Why would I, as a new airline, get a fleet type which is not readily available? I have to check what's on the used market and adapt accordingly. And once I am ready to modernize, of course it's time to choose a fleet type that is still being produced. It makes no sense to go from one old fleet type to another outdated fleet type.

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Also if a new airline is using the used market to get everyone else's leftovers, they are also forced into extra fleet types to transition the old metal to new in the coming years.  If an airline had 2 fleet types with 10 year old metal, they would have to likely transition both those fleets in less than 10 years and have 4 fleet types for an extended period, especially if they are ordering new aircraft instead of the next generation's worth of leftovers.

Again, bad planning. As a new airline I should focus on one single fleet type and expand with that as much as possible (say 737 classics OR F50 OR F70, not all together). Once money is there, it's time to update this outdated fleet type to something more modern. This is the 2nd fleet type. And just in case you want to expand more, you still have a 3rd type available. The point here is to avoid too many fleet types to begin with. How do you avoid many different fleet types? By choosing a fleet type that makes sense for your market and that is readily available.

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So the solution to reducing lead times for airlines is creating liquidity and making aircraft available and the only way to do that is to prevent alliances from abusing the current system.

How do alliance abuse the system? Please elaborate.

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Right now there are orders for A320 and B737 that are 7 years out.  Additionally, there are orders 5 years out for MD90 with TONS of open production slots.

This probably means there are MANY orders for this type from VERY FEW different airlines. This is a feature, not a bug. It is in place so that other players can still get good production slots if they decide to order that plane. And I think it should stay this way.

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That means an airline is going to have an extra fleet type for up to 5 years unless they are gaming the system with an alliance partner.

Either an alliance partner or any other player who will function as a broker on the public used market. Again, the alliances don't abuse anything. The system works in the same fashion for every single player, within an alliance or not.

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Right now there are 38 MD90 on the used market, but they are exclusively from 3 other airlines and no brokers--that means 3 players completely control the used market and if a new airline enters the game, is at the mercy of those 3 airlines that may or may not collude with each other and/or buying new.  It may sound ridiculous, but it happens all of the time.

Right. Bus as you said yourself, there are tons of production slots available. Either use those and order the planes yourself (and avoid expensive brokers) or ask an alliance partner to do that for you. This is what alliances are for - mutual help. Then again, if I am a new player and see that the MD90 is not readily available while there are tons of MD80's, then maybe the MD80's are the better choice.

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The attached screenshots shows exact reasons why 100% payment up front needs to happen--these airlines had zero intention of flying these aircraft and jammed up the production line, blocking actual operators from being able to order aircraft and manipulating the market.

Uhm, how is this any different from an AI broker ordering planes? The AI brokers certainly don't fly planes either and just put them on the used market. I don't see any difference. In the end, these particular airlines made an investment by ordering the planes and are interested in leasing them out and/or selling them. If those airline fail to do so, the investment is lost. Instead of trying to order new, I would simply contact those airlines and make a deal. Win-win-situation for both. That airline sells the planes, the new airline receives new planes and favorable prices. As you said, demand and supply. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy from those "airline brokers" than to order new. And like you said, you can avoid to sleep and get 150 per game year off the used market.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 05:02:44 AM by Andre090904 »

Offline Dawgfan28

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2020, 06:17:12 AM »
I have not seen the 4th fleet penalty keep big time airlines from going bigger. The premise is to keep a balance in the game and while it may give some pause we dont need to help the rich get richer. Real world most airlines try to keep there fleet diversity at a minimum, except for Delta of  course..lol
not at all. If we look at the US3 and EU3 in the way the game is played (ie no United Express, simply as one company)

United has ERJs(RR), EMBs(GE), CRJs(GE), 737s(CFM), 32S (V2500), 32S(CFM56), 757(PW), 757(RR), 767(PW), 767(GE), 777(PW), 777(GE), 787(GE),and A350(RR)/321NEO(PW I believe)/737MAX(CFM LEAP) on order.
American has ERJs(RR), EMBs(GE), CRJs(GE), E90(GE), 737s(CFM), 737MAX(CFM LEAP), 32S (V2500), 32S(CFM56),321NEO(LEAP), 757(RR), 767(GE), 777(RR), 777(GE), 787(GE), 330(PW), 330(RR)

and you can do the same for IAG, AF/KLM group, Lufthansa group.

I think its a little crazy an airline operating say CRJ or ERJ/EMB, 737 or 320, 757/767 or 330, 777s or 340s with 787 or 350s on order is certainly fair. I would love to see airlines being able to operate MROs (the main reason Delta, Lufthansa etc. operate so many different types) to offset the high cost of a complex fleet.

Of course I also think an airline operating 1000 777s is completely unrealistic so what do I know.  ;D

Offline LemonButt

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2020, 06:28:04 AM »
Airlines are absolutely not putting 100% payment up front when they place the order (when they take delivery they obviously pay the balance).  Those A320 orders 7 years out have the minimum down payment for sure.  I'm not going to dissect things word for word, but let's assume alliance members "donate" their production slot rights to another member.  What then?  There are 67 deliveries/month right now for A320 with 137 airlines in alliances at the moment.  Does that basically just mean if you're not in an alliance you will never ever be able to order a brand new A320?  Right now "donating" those slots by proxy requires a capital commitment and the production lines are backlogged for years--it would only get worse if there was no capital commitment required.

For production lines with excess capacity, the 100% could be discounted--i.e. an MD90 with tons of open slots could be had for less than 100% down.  This is really the only solution unless new aircraft prices become more dynamic, which would probably just confuse players (i.e. new aircraft prices going up due to excess demand).

How do alliances abuse the system?  Are you kidding?  Airlines IRL don't intentionally order planes for each other to sell wholesale--it's completely unrealistic.  Nor do they jam up production lines with orders for aircraft they have zero intention of operating.  Yes, airlines lease out aircraft to other airlines, but it's almost always a situation where they made an acquisition or similar such as Southwest buying AirTran and divesting the B717s to maintain an all 737 fleet.  I'm also not complaining that unpopular planes are unavailable--I'm complaining that planes with tons of available production capacity have zero liquidity on the used market because they are so in-demand that every used aircraft is in service.  If this happened in the real world brokers would be creating liquidity buying new aircraft.  Alas, it's the same issue at hand with fleet commonality etc. in that the system fails to create liquidity, even when there is new aircraft capacity to do so, but more importantly when there isn't.  The reason there isn't is because of alliances gaming the system.  It wouldn't be a big deal if it weren't for the fact that it's a fixed pie and one airline taking delivery of a plane is at the detriment of another airline.  This is literally the exact reason the used aircraft market went from people running scripts to refresh the page every second to the "call" system to level the playing field.

AI Brokers are brokers--they don't operate aircraft.  It's like saying the grocery store and McDonald's both sell beef and it's all the same.  The grocery store isn't selling prepared hamburgers and McDonald's isn't selling raw ground beef.  IRL airlines and brokers are corporations with executives that answer to a board.  If the executives at any major airline said they wanted to risk the company's capital to speculate on aircraft they have zero intention of ever operating it would never happen--they are accountable to shareholders to execute their business plan.  Likewise if brokers said they wanted to start operating aircraft (wet lease being the exception).  This is why requiring 100% prepayment or 5+ year lease when ordering new solves the problem--it more closely reflects the real world where a board would never allow the things that currently happen in the game.  If you're ordering a new aircraft, you are either doing so with the intention of operating it and being an airline or you're paying through the nose (both capital and time) to speculate as a broker.  AI Brokers are agnostic and loyal to the market--not any specific alliance or airline, which ensures a secondary market with more perfect competition.  This is especially important later in game worlds when the long haul aircraft market is a duopoly with Airbus and Boeing--the next best thing being an aging out of production MD11 that is a trijet and not economically viable.  Long haul routes are the most profitable in the game and when prices are infinity due to zero liquidity, established airlines are given a de facto monopoly.

Offline MuzhikRB

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2020, 06:33:59 AM »
production rates were updated - now its ok.
launch window was updated - now its ok
cargo has been added - means more profit - means more planes.
long GW were added - more time to collect money
the only procedure that still not touched is UM limit.

3 years after start some of the companies has 300+ Acs on hand. and we are just started. yes big planes and jets will replace props with 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 rate. but anyway in mid of HAF GW we have 60 companies with 300+ AC fleets.
How quick and what effort it will take to replace aging ACs and adding new fleet for these players?
I run such big monsters several times - its real HELL. I need to open AWS every 4 hours just to buy out ACs from UM from Alliance.
That is the only reason that caused me to pause playing for almost a year.

Even now the only thing I ask is not to increase the rate of "receiving" planes. I ask the opportunity to buy all listed privately to me in one time if i have money.
20 listed to me? I want to buy all and let them be delivered at 3 per week - its ok. but at least I dont need to make clicks every 4 hour.

Offline sanabas

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2020, 07:20:28 AM »
Airlines are absolutely not putting 100% payment up front when they place the order (when they take delivery they obviously pay the balance).

Some are. And requiring 100% down would tilt things more in favour of the very large airlines, as they then become the only ones capable of buying planes for other people, or even buying for themselves.

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Does that basically just mean if you're not in an alliance you will never ever be able to order a brand new A320?

Of course not. If 67 airlines are all ordering 50 x a320, then everybody gets 1 plane/month. If 134 airlines are placing those big orders, then everyone gets 1 per 2 months. Regardless of whether they're in an alliance or not.

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This is really the only solution unless new aircraft prices become more dynamic, which would probably just confuse players (i.e. new aircraft prices going up due to excess demand).

Which is happening already, and doesn't seem that confusing. In HaF, the gameworld you're playing, the price of a 732 freighter was down to ~18 million or so. Some orders got placed, it went up to ~21.5. That price slowly crept down to 20 million, 2 airlines ordered 90 planes between them, the price jumped to 22 million. The price of a basic a332 has jumped from ~140 million on launch to 156 million 5 months later.

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How do alliances abuse the system?  Are you kidding?  Airlines IRL don't intentionally order planes for each other to sell wholesale--it's completely unrealistic.


And if my RL 1997 airline phoned Ilyushin and said I want 50 of those new IL96s nobody is buying, your factory can make 12/month, so I can have all 50 in a 5 month window, they'd say yes. But here in AWS, the timeframe to get 50 of them is 3.5 years.

If in AWS, you have 30 airlines placing orders for 50 each, everyone gets 2/month, but those 1500 planes are only going to 5 airlines, then IRL you'd see 5 airlines ordering 300 each, and all 5 get 12/month. So functionally the same.

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This is especially important later in game worlds when the long haul aircraft market is a duopoly with Airbus and Boeing--the next best thing being an aging out of production MD11 that is a trijet and not economically viable.  Long haul routes are the most profitable in the game and when prices are infinity due to zero liquidity, established airlines are given a de facto monopoly.

Also in HaF, I've grabbed 21 a330/340s from the used market over the past few game months, because I'm relatively new and can't afford a big order for new planes. There are still 30+ currently listed, and ~500 with the brokers.

One of the issues with UM availablility again comes back to commonality. There are airlines locked in to flying MD11s, because they have an existing large fleet. The line is emptier now, but as the price is still above default, I assume the line was clogged for some time. An MD11 vs an IL96 both have about the same size (410 v 420 max pax), about the same range (378 v 327 pax at 6000NM), about the same MTOW (58t v 53t), about the same speed (476 v 470 kts), about the same default cargo capacity (30t/103.5m^3 vs 21t/102.9m^3 at 288/290 pax). In every single one of those, the Ilyushin is slightly better.

The IL96 costs 300k/month in maintenance, 2.4 mill in fuel at $500/tonne, and 1.1 million/month to lease. Total cost 3.8 mill/month.
The MD11 costs 240k/month in maintenance, 2.1 mill in fuel at $500/tonne, and 2.6 million/month to lease. Total cost 4.9 mill/month.

And yet it's only the MD that gets ordered, and it had lots of orders while the only IL orders were made by me to fly from Sydney before I restarted in a different location to try an all-cargo airline. Why? Because it's way too hard to switch from MD to IL once you're locked in, because the 4th fleet penalty stops you doing it.

In AG, there is a huge supply of F27s on the used market, over 1500 with the brokers, and there are just 4 dash-7s in existence. For a new airline trying to fly medium turboprops, there is really just a single choice to use if they want to be able to access the UM for their planes. Why? Because airlines that might order the dash 7 when it launched or was approaching certification, especially when they see it readily available new, see it significantly cheaper than an f27 which has a clogged production line, they can't make that switch, can't say 'we'll keep our existing 100 f27s for now, but our new planes will be dash-7s', because if doing so adds a 4th fleet, their airline is no longer viable. They can only choose to stockpile 100 dash-7s to switch en masse, and doing that will take at least 2 years even if every plane leaving the factory goes direct to them. So they all stay flying f27, the f27 line stays clogged, and 15 years later, new airlines wanting 5-15 year old used planes to get started have a single good option.

Your aim seems to be preventing any one airline from getting new planes at a rate greater than the 2/month they might be able to get from the factory. That means that for any airline with a 500 plane fleet to do a transition, they'll need to spend 20 years on it. Is it simply that you don't like seeing 1000+ plane airlines, and so want to make it non-viable for them to modernise their fleet, go from 500 733 and 734 to 500 737-max?

Offline groundbum2

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2020, 08:51:49 AM »
I think the simplest answer, that will upset the least people, and not mess with the underlying dynamics too much, is to increase the 3/week limit every 5 years or so, so that at ten year in the the game it stands at 5/week and at 20 years 10/week etc. Just like out of bases increases.. Perhaps say 50% of the limit is not available on the UM but only on private purchases..

perhaps, like just implemented with Soviet steel, airlines < 100 frames, could get a 20% discount on leases on the used market?

Simon
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 08:54:24 AM by groundbum2 »

Offline sanabas

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2020, 09:26:48 AM »
I think the simplest answer, that will upset the least people, and not mess with the underlying dynamics too much, is to increase the 3/week limit every 5 years or so, so that at ten year in the the game it stands at 5/week and at 20 years 10/week etc. Just like out of bases increases..

I don't think that works for two reasons.

First one, it makes it far more likely for newer players with new airlines to simply lease too much stuff at once and have to BK before they become profitable, whereas steadier expansion makes it more likely they succeed, makes it much harder to spend all of their initial money at once.

Secondly, part of the reason for the 3/week limit is to make it far harder to scoop up all the planes of a single group that hit the UM. Even later in the game, there is competition for certain planes, e.g. right now in HaF, 734s and 735s are being snapped up pretty quickly, because the brokers don't have too many, and they are still quite popular. So if a UM refresh puts 6 of those on the market, one airline could grab them all, instead of no airline getting more than two.

As the majority of planes acquired from the UM by airlines frustrated by the limit/the need to log in every 4 hours are being taken from other airlines & privately listed, I think the solution is simply to make those planes separate to the ordinary 3/week from the brokers. I don't think there's any reason to change the 3/week from brokers, and many reasons not to. Just allow 12/game month, 18 per 24 hours, or simply make private listings except from the quantity restrictions, and transferring of planes can be done far less painfully, by logging in once/day or whenever and collecting all that are there for you.

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #75 on: January 16, 2020, 09:40:42 AM »
I agree with Sanabas : it's even better than andre's idea - it's privately listed, you don't need your staff to work on it. Simple, elegant & efficient. You have your 3 usual shots at the open markets, whether or not you purchase privately listed aircraft, that could be then unlimited.

I've got 4 suppliers for COMACs in current MT. It's a pain to connect every 4 hours to purchase from them. I had 10 listed this morning, still have 7, and it's gonna grow, despite me purchasing as much as I can. I've got 32B$ in cash.

And, more importantly, I'm not drying up the open market. Those planes are reserved to me(and noone else wants C919s, but this is not relevant here - would be the same deal for the guy who purchases me A330s & A321s in great numbers). I should be able to connect in the morning, purchase everything that is privately listed to me, and forget about it and live my real life. Until I can play again, in the evening, or whenever. And not having those planes stockpiling, even though it's just 3 clicks to replace those aging MD88s.

Offline Talentz

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #76 on: January 16, 2020, 09:53:31 AM »
Still need limits on privately listed aircraft. Unlimited opens up to many options that (I) someone would use nefariously. Just for the laughs.

3/10 is fine for open UM (AI broker); 6/10 for private sounds reasonable. That would yield 18 per month private, 9 per month UM. 100% more aircraft in total. Though this would favor the very largest airlines mostly...

AWS will become even more unbalanced between the top and the rest. But sure, you can fleet change just a bit faster, lol.


Talentz
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Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #77 on: January 16, 2020, 10:34:47 AM »
(.../...)AWS will become even more unbalanced between the top and the rest. But sure, you can fleet change just a bit faster, lol.
(.../...)

Well, at 32B$ of cash reserves, I'm not in danger anyways. Noone can kill me. Fuel at 2000$ might, but it would need years and years(and would kill smaller players first) The additional unbalance seems extremely small to me, while the quality of life improvement seems huge to me.

Offline MuzhikRB

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #78 on: January 16, 2020, 10:42:54 AM »
it will benefit for everybody.

big companies will make fleet changes faster - yes. it means more variables in strategy.  If i can switch 100 acs from 320 fleet to some comacs that will benefit for me in last 14 years - why not ? in current system I will need several years a lot of time to do that.
in mid-time. I was on holiday and missed some 737 launch and all slots are gone for next 5 years ? np - I will switch to md80 or md90 even it means additional fleet change in the future

new players - 1 benefit: a lot of used ACs on um from big brothers, cause they will tend to switch fleets more often.
2 benefit: you can lease much more planes to start if you get agreed with other players to list them privately for you (no need to be in alliance for that). so you can grow faster if you doing it correctly

medium companies: you can go away from big lines (Airbus/boeing) and make more fleet changes cause it will not be pain in hell now.

Offline Talentz

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #79 on: January 16, 2020, 11:56:38 AM »
...

...

Then sounds like a feature request to me. I personally don't care either way, I was just cautioning you on the door(s) that would open up. Anywho...



More importantly, how you only have 32B? You been buying alot of aircraft for the brotherhood or something?



Talentz
Co-founder and Managing member of: The Star Alliance Group™ - A beta era, multi-brand alliance.

 

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