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Author Topic: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes  (Read 276 times)

Offline Meddix

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SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« on: September 10, 2019, 07:40:34 PM »
I am a newcomer in this game and found already loads of interesting stuff on this forum.

A question were I couldn't find an answer to with regards  to schedules for SH/MH planes for optimum use of your planes.
Supose I have schedules up to max 4H - 8H

Do I only schedule between 0500/0600 and 2300/0000 or is it worthwhile/advisable (for optimum usage of the plane) to add a small schedule in the night between 0000 and 0500 knowing that demand is low and you have to lower you prices substancially??
And would it make a difference if the plane is leaving at let's say 22.30 and returns 04.00 instead of leaving after 00.00?


Online Tauge

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 08:36:52 PM »
If you haven't yet, then I suggest reading Gaz's guide on scheduling.
https://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,71633.0.html

So, demand for 0000-0455 is, obviously, not as strong as demand for most other time slots. 0500-0555 and 2300-2355 also have a smaller demand malus, but I personally haven't really felt it much unless I'm taking off at one and landing at the other.

So, if this question is more about, what should I do if my plane doesn't really have the endurance to stay in the air for 5 hours (and I don't have enough time zones in the right direction to help me out), what should I do? Well, from my experience, it can be ok to keep a plane on the ground. Another thing that can be done is you can schedule your last flight of the day to land at the destination airport late, say 2230-2355, and change your turnaround time so that the return flight leaves at 0600. This can be helpful if you are starting to have slot congestion in the 0600 hour.

Usually, I've got my shorter range planes flying from 0600+/-1hr to 2300+/-55minutes. But that's just my opinion

Offline Meddix

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 08:55:53 PM »
Thanks. I read that.

The question is more about optimal usage of the plane

If I have 3 good 5H routes scheduled between 0600 and 2300 would it be better to leave my plane on the ground or schedule an extra 5H route between 0000 and 0500.
Knowing that I am punished hard, have to decrease my prices substancially but ok the plane is there and can make money
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 08:58:59 PM by Meddix »

Offline Andre090904

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 09:51:33 PM »
I would not recommend to fly night flights in such a case (unless it's a cargo plane of course...)

Usually, it's just not worth it due to the night time penalty. You still need to pay all the fuel and the staff. It just doesn't really pay off.

Offline Meddix

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 07:24:28 AM »
Thanks !!

Offline fark24

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 10:01:51 AM »
I find the best way to optimize flight times on medium-haul aircraft is to use red-eyes. Even if the flight is only a few hours, you can use the advantage of time zones to make the departure and arrival times more commercially viable.

For instance, lets say you have a 5 hour flight that crosses 3 time zones. You can fly west at 18:00 and the aircraft will land at 20:00 local time (5 hours in the air - 3 time zone changes). After an hour on the ground, it takes off again at 21:00 and returns at 05:00 (5 hours in the air + 3 time zone changes). Then after an hour on the ground at your home base it is available to start a new day at an optimal 06:00 departure.

Now if you want to or have no other option than to fly between 00:00 and 04:55 for at least one of the flight segments, the presence of cargo can actually make that profitable since it won't care about the dispatch time. If you have low expectations for passengers and there is solid cargo demand, you can also lower the number of seats offered on the route and that will give your aircraft the ability to haul additional cargo. You can even set a passenger plane to carry only cargo and that will save you a bit on operational fees.

Offline Meddix

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 02:35:49 PM »
Thanks for the extra comments. I hadn't thought about that yet because most of my routes are within the same time zone. But 3 of them + 1 route crossing 2 time zones could work well. I will try to find combinations like that.

Online gazzz0x2z

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 04:45:53 PM »
Unless it's very early in the game(and I need to expand like a madman), I tend to schedule around all possible red eyes opportunities. 6 per 7 planes 7 days schedule. The rest is always easier to schedule around.

It's not perfect in terms of expansion,as it means you leave plenty of (often juicy) SH opportunities for later, but it's perfect in terms of plane use optimization. And for a base, you can usually afford this initial lower profit for a forever better planning(there are special cases, of course).

Offline Meddix

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2019, 05:22:14 AM »
Now if you want to or have no other option than to fly between 00:00 and 04:55 for at least one of the flight segments, the presence of cargo can actually make that profitable since it won't care about the dispatch time. If you have low expectations for passengers and there is solid cargo demand, you can also lower the number of seats offered on the route and that will give your aircraft the ability to haul additional cargo. You can even set a passenger plane to carry only cargo and that will save you a bit on operational fees.

I have a few routes with quite some cargo but hardly pax. I am testing now if routes between 00:00 and 04:55 can generate profit if I set the plane to cargo only

Offline knobbygb

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 07:06:15 AM »
To add to the other advice, and going back to your original question:   


And would it make a difference if the plane is leaving at let's say 22.30 and returns 04.00 instead of leaving after 00.00?

In that case it is much better to take off before midnight and return very early in the morning than to take off after midnight.  It depends somewhat on your company image (and route image) but I find, once well established (RI 100% and CI 80%+) landing any time between midnight and 5am suffers only a small penalty (15% to 20%, or maybe a little more) whereas taking off in the middle of the night is much worse.

So don't be afraid to schedule your last flight of the day to leave the destination at 23:55 and arrive home whenever. At least you use some of the night hours that way. Try to do this on your strongest routes where you would need several flights a day anyway.  Experiment with dropping the prices on that return leg to see what happens. If the outbound flight is quite full anyway, you could even make a worthwhile profit if the return is almost empty - especially when cargo is involved.

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 07:32:16 AM »
I have a few routes with quite some cargo but hardly pax. I am testing now if routes between 00:00 and 04:55 can generate profit if I set the plane to cargo only

If it's a pax plane, it's not a good idea at all.
The belly of the plane, even if full of LC and SC, will not be sufficient for the route to break even.

If on the other hand we're talking about a cargo plane, yeah, cargo doesn't care when it takes off or lands.

Offline JohnGaleazza

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 02:06:15 PM »
I generally avoid chasing overnight flights for SH/MH routes.  Honestly if you have your plane pretty busy between 6:00 and 23:00 than it's not worth the effort to run around trying to find a route to fit into the 7 hrs between 23:00 and 6:00.  Especially considering that you have to allow for maintenance checks (which I usually do over night) which then complicates scheduling unless you are ok with removing a day from your flight's schedule or doing a modified 7 days scheduling (again complicates scheduling and requires another aircraft which defeats the purpose of maximizing aircraft usage)

Keep in mind also whether you keep the aircraft on the ground at your base airport or at your outpost, your aircraft is still on the ground not generating any profits.  For ex.  for route Base airport A to airport B.  If your flight arrives at B around 23:00 and sits there until 6:00 and then returns back to A in the morning.  Those 7 hours spent on the ground are non profitable.

So again I generally avoid overnight flights unless one of the legs of the flight can be completed (through length or time zones) over the 7 hours from 23:00 to 6:00.  Which generally means flights that have a total travel time of approx 14 hr.

Offline Meddix

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Re: SH/MH scheduling - optimimum use of planes
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 08:33:53 PM »
If it's a pax plane, it's not a good idea at all.
The belly of the plane, even if full of LC and SC, will not be sufficient for the route to break even.

If on the other hand we're talking about a cargo plane, yeah, cargo doesn't care when it takes off or lands.

Yes, I found out that this not working and closed the routes.

 

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