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Author Topic: Red Eye Flights?  (Read 969 times)

Offline hohum

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Red Eye Flights?
« on: July 20, 2019, 01:59:46 AM »
I know the old adage in the airline industry is if a plane is on the ground, it's not making you money.

Do you guys schedule red-eye flights for all your planes?   Especially early on when money matters?  Or is it not a profitable thing to do?


Offline fark24

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 03:43:43 AM »
Scheduling red-eye flights is good business practice in this game at any stage. Especially if you have aircraft with the legs to fly a route which can take off in the 21:00 hour or earlier and arrive in the 06:00 hours or later as there should still be strong passenger numbers.

The addition of cargo to the game makes the economics even better since cargo doesn't really care what time it departs or arrives.

Offline dave111

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2019, 04:00:04 AM »
Yes, scheduling red-eyes is a very good idea as it's really the only way to utilize your (passenger) plane during the night hours between 0000 and 0455. The best red-eyes are long enough that you can take off at 2255 or earlier and land at 0600 or later, taking advantage of time zones. The penalty for landing or taking off between 2300 and 2355 or between 0530 and 0555 is fairly small, though. The advantage of red-eyes is so great that it can be worth it IMO to schedule shorter red eyes at those hours

You should read Gazzz's scheduling tutorial, he discusses red eyes and other ways of keeping fleet utilization high:

https://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,71633.0.html

EDIT: No, you won't able to schedule them on ALL your planes, though. It depends on the number of suitable destinations from your base.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 04:11:00 AM by dave111 »

Online knobbygb

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2019, 06:48:02 AM »
It's not just a good idea - it's essential, especially on leased aircraft.  Even when you own everything and have more money that you can handle, it's a good idea to keep utilisation up to improve your statistics - after all, at that stage in the game there's only statistics to play for.  I regularly see competitors doing most things right but with only 9 or 10 hours per day utilisation.  They are usually gone very quickly.  You should be aiming for somewhere between 17 and 19 hours average utilisation!  To be honest, when I get a new competitor at my base, or I'm looking for somewhere to set up, this utilisation is the first (and sometimes the only) thing I look at in order to judge whether or not I'm up against a 'good' player.  It really is that important.

EDIT: No, you won't able to schedule them on ALL your planes, though. It depends on the number of suitable destinations from your base.

Wanna bet? hehe.  In my last game in Turkey I had around 1400 aircraft and I can honestly say not a single one rested overnight at HQ/base. The worst case scenario was some arriving between 02:30 and 03:30 and not departing until 04:00 or 05:00.  It depends where you play really. You might struggle in a country with a lot of curfews. Having said that, I'm in Japan at the moment with 233 aircraft and only 2 parked overnight.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 06:53:36 AM by knobbygb »

Offline Andre090904

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2019, 07:43:09 AM »
That hugely depends on the airline profile and the geographic limitations, though. If you are into longhaul with tons of 7-day-schedules, a high utilization is the logical consequence. If you are in the right spot with lots of demand in the right distance and with the right aircraft with the right speed, nice. But that's not always the case. When I played in West Germany in last GW2, it was especially tough. The distance to the juicy routes to Western/Central Europe were not long enough to make these red-eye-flights work. Towards the east, demand was very low (except Turkey/Greece). If it works out, great. If not, no big deal. While a high utilization is a good indicator, I think the profit margin is a way better statistic to check.

I personally avoid departures/arrivals between 0000 and 0500 if possible.

Offline dave111

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 01:59:35 PM »
Wanna bet? hehe.  In my last game in Turkey I had around 1400 aircraft and I can honestly say not a single one rested overnight at HQ/base. The worst case scenario was some arriving between 02:30 and 03:30 and not departing until 04:00 or 05:00.  It depends where you play really. You might struggle in a country with a lot of curfews. Having said that, I'm in Japan at the moment with 233 aircraft and only 2 parked overnight.

Fair enough. :laugh: In fact, I almost wrote you probably won't be able to. My real point, I guess, is do what's right for your situation. If you have a ton of routes at the right distance and you have the right planes, go for it. I also take into account the amount of competition - red-eyes are by their nature longer flights, and you want to get good load factors to make them worth it. So in most cases I personally wouldn't fly a route that's over-served already just to do a red-eye.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 03:25:29 PM by dave111 »

Online knobbygb

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2019, 09:08:47 PM »
Quote
When I played in West Germany in last GW2, it was especially tough. The distance to the juicy routes to Western/Central Europe were not long enough to make these red-eye-flights work

Yeah (W) Germany is one of those places where the curfews really hurt. Still, I've found, with a good CI, arriving in the early hours hurts FAR far less than departing then. A red-eye from Germany to Turkey, arriving at 03:00 and departing just after 05:00 would work pretty well and is only wasting 1hr.  That's essentially what I was doing in Turkey (but the other way around, of course).

Remember, even if the flight makes $00.01 profit (or even a small loss), the harm it might do to your competitor's margins might outweigh that.  Don't be afraid to cut prices by 30% or more on the less favourable leg.

Quote
If you are in the right spot with lots of demand in the right distance and with the right aircraft with the right speed, nice.

If you are NOT in the right spot with lots of demand and the right aircraft then.... that's your own fault really.  Sorry I'm not really having a go at you personally- I sometimes deliberately choose "odd" places to play for the challenge, but things such as red-eye availability have a large bearing on where I choose to play.  In Europe, being in GMT or in +2 gives you more options than being in +1. In the USA I find places like ORD (-6) work well because you have the choice of both east and westbound red-eyes, particularly early in the game with slower aircraft.

Quote
While a high utilization is a good indicator, I think the profit margin is a way better statistic to check.

Agreed, it's a better indication of how well the airline is run overall, but sometimes when looking for a new base you see a profitable airline, with good fleet choices and yet only 9hrs/day utilisation and you think "low hanging fruit..."
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 09:15:31 PM by knobbygb »

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2019, 09:49:35 PM »
1400 a/c, 450 of them being E-jets, 600, and a fleet use/day of 17.5 hrs.
All 1400 of them on 7-D.
Not a single departure/arrival between 0000 and 0500.
Achieved in USSR/Russia.
Yes, some places are better than others for a high fleet use ::)

Offline Obi-Gun Smokenobi

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2019, 07:25:41 PM »
Agreed, it's a better indication of how well the airline is run overall, but sometimes when looking for a new base you see a profitable airline, with good fleet choices and yet only 9hrs/day utilisation and you think "low hanging fruit..."

Having difficulty imagining how running 9-10 hours utilization qualifies as a not-so-good airline and low-hanging fruit.  How so?

Online knobbygb

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2019, 12:23:41 PM »
Having difficulty imagining how running 9-10 hours utilization qualifies as a not-so-good airline and low-hanging fruit.  How so?

It means that the planes are sat on the ground for 14 or 15 hours per day!  It's indicative of poor management, wastefulness, laziness or just not being very experienced about the game mechanics and how best to achieve success.  It's possible to get by like that for many years - without serious competition, but against any good player who's determined to move in and make that airport their own, they'd stand no chance.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating bullying - i.e. deliberately destroying such an airline, but you'd basically have free reign to do whatever you like at that base (which for me is usually to ignore the competition and fly every possible route) and totally ignore them.  If they managed to survive, then good for them.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 12:26:38 PM by knobbygb »

Offline Obi-Gun Smokenobi

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2019, 01:40:35 PM »
Seems my poor management style in AWS is blasphemy, but heavy hitters at large bases have never put my airline out of business at 9-10 hours of utilization and heavy market saturation. 

There are many ways to be successful in AWS...even for those of us exercising poor management and demonstrating no understanding of game mechanics.

Offline Jake S

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2019, 04:25:40 PM »
Seems my poor management style in AWS is blasphemy, but heavy hitters at large bases have never put my airline out of business at 9-10 hours of utilization and heavy market saturation. 

There are many ways to be successful in AWS...even for those of us exercising poor management and demonstrating no understanding of game mechanics.
Spot on 8)

"People who invest in aviation are the biggest suckers in the world."

Offline Kontio

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2019, 04:33:14 PM »
Seems my poor management style in AWS is blasphemy, but heavy hitters at large bases have never put my airline out of business at 9-10 hours of utilization and heavy market saturation. 

There are many ways to be successful in AWS...even for those of us exercising poor management and demonstrating no understanding of game mechanics.

Imagine what you will be able to accomplish now that you know to keep your planes in the air as much as possible!

Online knobbygb

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Re: Red Eye Flights?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2019, 06:18:09 PM »
Yeah, fair enough, it IS just a game and the main aim is to get enjoyment from playing, so that's fine.  I didn't mean to be insulting in any way and I apologise if I offended you.

I think we're not comparing like with like though. I meant that is someone DID decide to take over your base they probably could quite easily. No matter how successful your airline is, if there are even a few opportunities you are missing then many other players would jump an that and damage you (which is, I think, what the OP was asking about - how to make a good airline even better in a truly competitive environment). Probably the reason you haven't had that competition is because those aggressive players (and I admit to being that) wouldn't be interested in the kinda of base (and kind of game) you seem to be operating.

Quote
High utilization for me has nothing to do with hours flown

Perhaps utilisation is the wrong word then, as that specifically refers to the percentage of hours flown. Maybe you mean high value... but if you can get lots of rotations out of the aircraft in only 10 hours, surely there is SOMETHING profitable to do in the other 7 realistically available hours to make things even better? After all, when you've covered all your available routes, the game can get a little boring.

I tend to see this game as a digital equivalent of the board game Monopoly, where the whole point is to cause an utter bloodbath and end up on top. I guess I didn't realise that some don't play that way.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 06:23:05 PM by knobbygb »

 

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