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Author Topic: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use  (Read 278 times)

Offline tungstennedge

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Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« on: November 10, 2018, 07:54:25 AM »
I'm currently using 777, and MD11, and the MD11 basically does the same thing except 777 has no freighter for a few more years. Third type is 737, which is already locked in for good.


Now, whats happening now is the markets with 777 and MD11 fill are virtually full, with exceptions for some md11f routes with are still possible, and I need a middle of the market fleet (Looking at 767 or 757). Im weighing pros and cons, and for the 757 it has a much more usuable frieghter variant in the fact its size can fly both domestic, but can do longhual with a stop to far more destinations profitably since there is alot of 20-30k cargo demand routes out there.


In the other had, the 767 can acsess far more passenger demand, since the 767 200er can profitably fly as little as 130 demand 7000nm from my experience, and is very comfortable in filling 150+ demand destinations, of which there are still countless from my europe bases that I cannot fly since the 777 does not break even until about 170 pax when leased. However, is is very simular to the 777, and could be a mostly redundant fleet type.


Also If I choose to get rid of MD11 fleet, which I want too, its easy to replace the pax ones with 777(Infact I could easily start that now), but the freiters seem hard, since no frieter can do what the md11F does well untill 777f. Im wondering if I should grow my MD11F fleet which is by far the most profitable, altough doing this would lock me into MD11 for another 5 years since I need to buy new leased, or should I transition now to fill the middle of the market? Im not sure, both options seems to have huge demand however. Doing nothing and continueing to buyfrom the used market will se stunted growth however. I cannot find more profitable routes for used market planes of my fleets.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 07:58:15 AM by tungstennedge »

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 08:37:08 AM »
The 757 is a matter of choice, really, and the introduction of cargo around 1 year ago changed its use quite a bit. Right now, it's a perfect late game cargo plane for places where cargo demand is huge. The VL type can sure fly plenty of routes, but every middle-demand route would like a 757 rather than a VL. However the 757 pax is quite lame in the late game, also because of its huge TaT.
So it's really: are you ready for that compromise?

Let's see things on a larger scale: at some point you'll transfer your MD-11F to 777F, thus you'll then be able to allow you 2 more fleets. At that point, a fleet composition that would really make sense would be:
 - 777 (pax + freight) for LH
 - 757 (freight) for medium demand cargo routes (both Europe and LH, you can probably spam the USA with them)
 - A321 or 737 NG/MAX for domestic / Europe and maybe even some thin routes to North America.

So back to "now": yes, I'd advise you to reduce your MD-11 Pax fleet, change them all to 777 asap, keep the MD-11F as long as the 777F isn't released, and in the meanwhile either introduce the 757F to increase cargo ops, or the A32x / 737 to increase your pax ops. Then when the 777F will be released, you'll be able to do both.

But obviously this is not the only possible solution, and in the end it really depends on what profile you want to give to your airline (although being HQed in LHR already defines some aspects).

Edit: also, note that the cargo variants of the 737 and A32x come quite late (~2017) but can probably handle a large part of your European cargo demand (except other cargo heavens like FRA or such). Airbus has better payload and volume, Boeing has more range (the 737-700F can be used up until 3000-3300nm without tech stop and still being profitable). I even use my 737F with tech stops all around the globe (but I reckon the only reason I do this is because I'm in no cargo-rich place).
As a rule of thumb:
20 tons and below: 737/A32x
40 tons: 757F
60 tons and above: any VL freighter.
Then, don't forget to take your competitors into the calculation, obviously.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 08:46:20 AM by Tha_Ape »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 10:19:41 AM »
Good questions and answers.  Except, adding 757 as a 4th fleet is not a good idea for big airlines.

Transition from pax MD-11 to 777 is an easy, non-controversial move.  It also has sky high capital requirements, so it will take some time to complete.

As far as 777F, you can convert any 772 into 777F, which may ease the pain of transition.

As you get to 2008, the time of introduction of 777 Freighter, you will realize that a lot of your formerly most profitable MD-11F routes are no longer that profitable.  The demand has been shifted and splintered.  So you may not need to transition all of the MD-11F to 777F, only a fraction, and for the other fraction, you will need a smaller freighter - 763F or 752F, and later on (for you) 737F and 738F.

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 12:50:44 PM »
Right, thanks JS, missed the part about already flying the 737.
Then yes, for now, stick to the 777 + MD-11 (F only, focus on that) + 737.
Once the 777F gets released and you get rid of your last MD-11F, then possibly add the 757.
The 767 is nice, and would possibly give you an edge on thiner LH routes, but it's still quite close to the 777 (both pax and cargo) and I would rather advise you the 757F, which will allow you to get the middle of the market in terms of cargo. The bigger MAX should then give you a perfect mom for pax ops.

Offline tungstennedge

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 09:52:55 PM »
Ok, so I went through about 30 pages of routes to my current hubs, where range > 2000nm, and looked at demand. I plan to look through other Europe bases soon.

What I did is I tallied up pax demand as follows, if 2000<range of route<4100, and demand > 150, then I put one point for 757-200.
If 4100<range<7100, and demand > 150, I put one point for 767-200ER
If 2000<range<7800, and demand > 250, I put one point into 777

For cargo, I put one point into 757F if both legs of routes totaled over 40tons of potential. I have no idea if this number makes sense, but for all the cargo I added points for what corresponds to 50%lf approximately. I was also careful to not consider airports which are close to other major airports, tho I may have made mistakes.

If demand > 70tons I would put one point into both 767F and 757F

If demand > 100 tons, I put one point into 777F, 767F, and 757F

757-200     36 points
757F          55
767-200ER 37
767F          40
777(all variants)  17 points.

Now, the one thing that is clear is I definitely need a middle of the market plane, however, there is still no clear winner.

the 37 points the 767-200ER scored cannot be accessed by either 757 or 777, the demand is too thin for 777, and the range is too far for 757. I quickly looked and Frankfurt and Copenhagen and found there are likely far more 767-200er routes.

At the same time, the 15 points accessed by the 757F  over the 767F would be unachievable until 737 F's come. Also, I imagine that they would work at a much higher margin than 767 in cargo and pax. The 36 points that the 757-200 scored would also be accessible to 767-200, however, it has almost 30-40% higher operating expense from what I can tell, from fuel to maintenance and purchase cost.

Basically, do if I want to cover more pax market I need the 767, and more cargo, the 757. I also imagine the cargo demand for routes under 200NM would be a huge advantage for 757, as flying a VL ac at those ranges seems really inefficient.

However, another consideration I have is that besides London and Frankfurt, where in EU can I actually find big cargo hubs? I'm guessing France might be ok, but almost all large cities do have good pax demand.

Right now I'm favoring the 767, but I see a large number of good airlines choose the 757. I'm guessing its because of <2000Nm cargo, however, I do want to focus my airline on LH for the simple reason it takes less time to schedule more planes.

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 10:17:35 PM »
Cargo in CDG/ORY is fine, pretty good but not absolutely wonderful, but that's all. The only 2 real cargo heavens in Europe are London and FRA. In the UK, also MAN. Overlaps slightly with London, but only on the far edge of the catching areas (around Birmingham). Then, in Germany, you got Düsseldorf, Munich and Hamburg, if I'm correct. Demand in the rest of Europe is much less.

My personal choice would be the 757, almost only for cargo ops (and possibly a few -200 for the pleasure). Because the 767 is really nice, would be more efficient than the 777 on low/medium pax routes, the -400ER has the lowest cost per seat of all WB, but that's all, it's still too close to the 777. Plus, the range of the 767-300F is quite lower than the one of the 777F. So the 767 would favor thick routes (especially thick cargo routes, but that could be covered by the 777 as well) while leaving a good part of the medium demand either uncovered or inefficiently covered. Considering the spread of the demand in London (3 major airports, 1 large, 2 small, and plenty of airports in neighbouring cities), the 757 seems better suited for this. And even more if we consider the possibility that you move elsewhere: in FRA, the 777F will do the bulk and the 757 complement, elsewhere it will probably be the opposite. Also, don't forget to consider the fact that 2 VL types are rarely advised. Got an alliance pal that does wonders in Australia with the A330/340 and A380, but that's quite rare.
But that's only my opinion, and another opinion could be as valid as mine.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 10:41:01 PM »
Good analysis.  You are right, that from pax POV, it would be 767 all the way.  FRA and CPH also would favor 767 for pax heavily.  You can pretty much access high 90% of demand with it, and many more destinations, for which 777 would be unprofitable.

(Just throwing it out there, but 787 improves on 767 further).

As far as 757 for pax, the range limits its usefulness, but within its range, it is efficient.

As far as cargo, I am not sure if you took into account tech stopping.  You can tech stop all of the aircraft, so it extends the range of 752F and 763F.

As far as flying to Metropolitan areas with many airports, it's a good thing you are taking this into account, because it will split the demand, but what you really need to think about is London area.  This will be your Achilles heal as far as demand being split.  You will eventually have maybe 10 airports overlapping substantial part of catchment area.


Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 10:42:54 PM »
Cargo in CDG/ORY is fine, pretty good but not absolutely wonderful, but that's all. The only 2 real cargo heavens in Europe are London and FRA. In the UK, also MAN. Overlaps slightly with London, but only on the far edge of the catching areas (around Birmingham). Then, in Germany, you got Düsseldorf, Munich and Hamburg, if I'm correct. Demand in the rest of Europe is much less.

Yup, those are good areas. 

FRA and MUC can hold on to their demand better than other airports.


Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 11:00:19 PM »
See, another man, another opinion, and quite valid as well :)

Offline tungstennedge

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2018, 10:30:40 PM »
Hmm thanks for all the feedback guys. Given that there are only a few cargo havens in the EU, I'm really favoring 767. I'm just thinking about how many planes I will beable to schedule and I honestly think I'll be able to get more 767 flying even if it is at a lower margin. The 757 really helps for cargo in London, Frankfurt and potentially some other German bases or Paris, but I feel it is going to be hotly contested. However, I see in almost any base, Dublin, Copenhagen, basically any major city has tons of demand that can be filled with 767 but not 777. Thinking to the future when 777MAX comes out it will be even more ridiculous with oversupply, and the 787 could easily slot in.

However, the decision is not set in yet, I'm very curious to know why two VL fleets are so discouraged. It seems like it could work in larger bases.

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 07:39:47 AM »
(.../...)However, the decision is not set in yet, I'm very curious to know why two VL fleets are so discouraged. It seems like it could work in larger bases.

Mainly because it cuts you many other options. Especially if you're big, and far from the end game, it means you can fly only very larges, and are vulnerable tu large attacks on shorter distances(and even longer in the case of cargo). Once you settled for your last fleet groups and know you won't change anymore, it's less a hassle, and you can afford a large group as well.

Offline Talentz

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2018, 03:42:11 PM »
In the end, it really depends on what demand you wish to capture. You can abide by general "rule of thumb" advice, but don't limit yourself strictly to that thinking. No one fleet group covers all avenues of demand and no 3 fleet combination gives you 100% blanket coverage without exposure at some level.

First step in your strategic planning is to decided what you want to focus on and how best to suit that demand. The majority of players who think that can capture any and all demand are usually the ones that die off, all things being equal. Simply put, you can't fly and capture all demand, against any real sort of competition. So don't try. Just focus on what your target demand is and wait for opportunities to surface.

That's how you grow into a "Small regional airline" ^_^


Talentz

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

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2018, 04:01:26 PM »
(.../...)
First step in your strategic planning is to decided what you want to focus on and how best to suit that demand. The majority of players who think that can capture any and all demand are usually the ones that die off, all things being equal. Simply put, you can't fly and capture all demand, against any real sort of competition. So don't try. Just focus on what your target demand is and wait for opportunities to surface.

This. So much this. The best example is my current GW2. I was in Poland, against an opponent who did me a lot of damage during 20 years. But, from the very beginning, I identified that destinations above 2500NM were of no interest to me. I deliberately bypassed them. When my opponent, strangulated by my overwhelming presence, tried to find fresh air in LH, I did ignore him.

Well, ignore is not exactly the word. I watched his experiments closely. Which confirmed me in one important point : in WAW, SH and medium range are more important markets. Ultimately, he collapsed, because 3 fleet groups make transitions very hard,  As most of the times in this game, you don't kill your opponents, you put them under pressure hoping they'll do a mistake and kill themselves. He BK'd in 1970. The year is now 2022, I'm still only focused on those 2 niches, I'm flying around 900 birds, I'm 15th in scoring. Not bad for a company based in Poland and that was stuck in this small country(demand-wise) until 2004.

That's how you grow into a "Small regional airline" ^_^

I didn't reach the "Small regional airline" status yet, but I think I can safely assume my insistance on sticking to the markets that did fit my HQ choice did help me a lot growing up to very nice levels. With 40B$ in cash reserves, and 8 of my 10 bases unopposed, I am virtually unkillable. My own self-discipline was a great enabler of this performance. It was tempting to follow my opponent in his new transatlantic adventures, but ultimately; leaving him alone there was the best business decision of the whole game, on my side. That market was too costly to serve efficiently, and not rewarding enough.

The only time I grew a "small regional airline", I began in CDG, and stuck to another tactic : spam single-aisle everywhere, and do some LH flights in addition for the prestige. Worked well also(bar in my base in WAW, but that's another story). I didn't divert myself, and accepted to be attacked by numerous ankle-biters and their regional plane(a role I've played myself countless times).

Ultimately, you have to make choices, that's what makes this game interesting. If one could fly anything from Pilatus to A380, well, it would be faaaar too easy to win with just the most time online. Fleet choice limitations make the game far more interesting. To choose means to let go. In my polish game, I did let go LH. In my parisian game, I did let go the comfort of regional birds in SH destinations and exposed me to countless attacks. Still made a kickass result.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 08:27:48 AM by gazzz0x2z »

Offline tungstennedge

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2018, 11:33:14 PM »
Hmm really interesting. I still wonder how airline go BK other that running out of time to play/ getting bored, I guess ill go for 767 as my number one competitor Brexit is going for the middle market with a300/a310, and Ill focus on long haul. Ill be sensitive to fuel but I hope ill be ok.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

EDIT: I just looked at the price for the 767 and it is the same as a 777.  It uses like 35% more fuel, but the maintenance cost seems to be the same. Now im wondering, is it possible to for example use larger seats and such to charge more, or does the seats even effect load factors at all? For example, on a route with 180 demand, if I flew a 777 with standard seats and 65% LF, would I make more my flying a 777 with only 180 every luxurious seats, and beable to charge more?

Also what other costs are there associated to the larger 777, eg will I need more crew or does blocking seats negate that?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 11:47:22 PM by tungstennedge »

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2018, 03:09:51 AM »
EDIT: I just looked at the price for the 767 and it is the same as a 777.  It uses like 35% more fuel, but the maintenance cost seems to be the same. Now im wondering, is it possible to for example use larger seats and such to charge more, or does the seats even effect load factors at all? For example, on a route with 180 demand, if I flew a 777 with standard seats and 65% LF, would I make more my flying a 777 with only 180 every luxurious seats, and beable to charge more?

Not really advisable.
Yes, you'd possibly get a little more money in times of cheap fuel, but on the long run it's not viable. We probably all do this, but not on a large scale, only on some routes that, as Gazzz said, are out of our market but that we still fly because they fit in the schedule or else. I also did this extensively with the 737-200Adv (1/4 or 1/3 of my fleet), but again, was viable because it was the cheap 70s. During the 2nd fuel spike it hurt. Then profitable again in the mid 80s. But really, only in certain situations.

On the longer run, the 777 should become roughly 1/3 more expensive than the 767, though.

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: Any Ideas What Fleet I should use
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2018, 08:59:12 AM »
Hmm really interesting. I still wonder how airline go BK other that running out of time to play/ getting bored, I guess ill go for 767 as my number one competitor Brexit is going for the middle market with a300/a310, and Ill focus on long haul. Ill be sensitive to fuel but I hope ill be ok.

An airline that does no mistake does not BK, unless beginning long after others and being illegally attacked(don't attack companies less than 1 year old). Most players do mistakes, though. I know I do. I never BK'd, because my errors were not big enough. Does not mean I am invincible.

EDIT: I just looked at the price for the 767 and it is the same as a 777.  It uses like 35% more fuel, but the maintenance cost seems to be the same. Now im wondering, is it possible to for example use larger seats and such to charge more, or does the seats even effect load factors at all? For example, on a route with 180 demand, if I flew a 777 with standard seats and 65% LF, would I make more my flying a 777 with only 180 every luxurious seats, and beable to charge more?

777 is a company killer. Not as much as the MD11, and it has its uses, but still. any seating better than "standard" has unnoticable effects, to my experience. One or two players claimed a small bonus, but most have noticed none.

Also what other costs are there associated to the larger 777, eg will I need more crew or does blocking seats negate that?

More crew, and more wright - which means more flight costs, something that is very often overlooked, even by most of the best players. Looking at my new 7-7 schedule in Le Lamentin in GW3, I have 6 762s and 1 763s.
MTOW - Route fees
142 882 kg - 137 000 USD
142 882 kg  -140 191 USD
142 882 kg  -136 553 USD
156 490 kg  -145 204 USD(763)
142 882 kg  -134 972 USD
142 882 kg  -135 919 USD
142 882 kg  -137 657 USD

As you can see, while it's not strictly proportional, a 9.5% increase in MTOW makes me a 5.9% increase in fligt costs. Let's say you fly a standard 777 against my 763. MTOW is 229 tons, which is 46% more. It would make around 25% more flight costs, which would be, in that case, 181k$, or 36 k$ more. Add 6 tons of fuel per hours instead of 5(well, assuming speed is slightly better, I'll count a 15% increase instead of 20%), against my 163k$, it would be an additional 25k$ of expenses(to be quadrupled when fuel prices will reach 1000$, something that is vound to happen).

3 additional cabin crew per team, and even more, as the 777 is longer range overall, it needs more teams, so you're probably around 40k$ more per months, if not more, that's at least 10k$ weekly of additional costs.

Adding just those 3 elements, we are already around 70k$ of extra weekly costs for the 777.

Of course, the 777, even basic, has more capacity. As soon as you can fill it, it's better : income is always more important than expense. But I do assume heavy opposition forever, especially in easy lines below 4000NM, so even my 762s won't be full, most of the time. That's where trinkets + trinkets + trinkets can be the difference between life and death. I've seen countless battles with companies around 2/3% of margin, and every trinket like that can be decide of who dies and who survives. 777s are kickass for bases where most of your meat is beyond 5000NM(and with high demand), because 767s begin to be overwhelmed, due to slower speed. Under that, 777 is really dangerous to fly.

 

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