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Online Airline Management Simulation
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Author Topic: First impressions  (Read 371 times)

Offline gazzz0x2z

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First impressions
« on: May 11, 2020, 09:10:32 AM »
First impressions : slot costs are definitively a factor in this game. Already 1.4M$ for a week in PEK. At a first look, I did think "not enough used planes", but considering the slow growth incurred by slot costs, it might end up being only a secondary problem.

Offline knobbygb

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2020, 01:29:19 PM »
With only just over 100 players - many of which won't last long, I'd say used aircraft supply will be OK.  The slots are expensive but aren't affecting me quite as much as they did in the Euro challenge.  Demand seems quite low, especially cargo, but it will grow quickly. Cargo demand between China and Japan, for example is 40% lower in 2010 than it is in 1997 in my other game.

Now for a "rant" for which I'll probably get flamed:  I was bored on Sunday morning waiting for the game to start so I spent a couple of hours looking at my competitors, both at my base and at the other places I have in my sights.  It astounded me just how many players seem to have no appreciation of the basic "rules" both of how to start a game and how to plan for the future.  With everybody having leased two aircraft and assigned routes to them, the limited data made it quite easy to make comparisons. 

Firstly - FLY THOSE AIRCRAFT!  I honestly looked at more than 20 airlines before I found a SINGLE ONE who had a SINGLE red-eye flight!  Nearly every one flies from 06:00 to around 23:00 and then sits on the ground for 7hrs.  I found a couple flying only from 09:00 to 22:00.  At the start of the game you have to use every $ to make $$$. every little thing you wast will effect your growth.

The majority of airlines I looked at are also skimping on turnaround times (40 to 50 minutes on 737 and A320). And this when they actually have loads of free time to 'spread out' too!

Many people seem to have gone for the biggest aircraft in it's fleet type and then just created multiple routes on the busiest trunk route from their base, without even looking elsewhere. Some of these routes are now 200% served already while, from some bases, there are literally 20 or 30 other options with 300 to 500 demand per day totally unserved.  With the price of slots severely limiting initial growth, this is just a waste of resource - all those A321/737-900 will be flying with 50% empty seats for MANY months to come while the savvy players mop up everything that's been left on the table.

I'm not criticising anyone in particular and it isn't my intention to belittle anybody - I genuinely want to help, but with the amount of good advice and great tutorials available and with 24hrs sat around waiting for the game to start, WHILE IN LOCKDOWN, surely people can do better!

Right, end of rant.  Good luck everybody!

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2020, 08:26:33 PM »
That's funny, a good portion of your rant is describing my exact strategy...and I'm first in company value, by far. My opponent in PEK has a similar strategy than mine...and is second in company value. You, OTOH, valued red eyes flights from day one and are a solid third. Which means, tome that both approaches have their value. Both need of course proper execution, and avoidance of overcrowded routes. Which is where many company failed until now.

But you're right on many points, IMHO; especially the need to balance turnaround times with available time. That's part of the execution. And, of course, clever choice of destinations. That's part of strategy. Your company shows that a strategy with red eyes from day one can work. Mine shows that you can avoid them and be profitable, too. After my first 4 planes, I was barely above 10 hours of daily flight - and already first in company value. There must be something that is not wrong in this strategy. Execution can't explain everything. I've added longer flights since. Not many, more will come.

Remember also that not many experienced players are attracted to that kind of games. There are more newbies than in large games, and therefore they make much more mistakes. I already made 2 mistakes (already corrected) in that game. And I'm first in many metrics.

Finally, I have to say that I've mentored a lot of players, and not many did listen to me.Those who did (1) listen to me, and (2) understand what I meant were rare and precious. That's part of life. It goes beyond the game. Many times, people arrive with a self-assigned role, and seem unable to detach themselves from this role. They replay always exactly the same game, because the feeling of "it's what I have to do to be myself" is stronger than their capacity to do proper analysis. It' unfortunate for them in such a game, where playing a role is a dangerous game (i.e. applying real life knowledge often pushes you to inferior decisions). I've seen many mentees explaining me that "but this company IRL does that, and fly to this destinations, therefore I have to do the same", or "I'll serve all demand to North Africa later, it's less prestige that the middle east" (when playing Orly - and therefore ignoring the very juicy maghreb market, while the middle east is usually clogged). We all play a role in life, but it seems some people have more difficulty to see beyond their own role.

Online caymanair

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 06:14:38 PM »
Slot costs are definitely a bit of a shock for me! 1.7 mil for a daily flight on a South Korean domestic route, between two smaller airports completely bypassing Seoul. I was hoping to largely avoid major airports in this game but at these costs I will definitely have to rethink things!

Offline sanabas

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 12:27:56 AM »
The artificially inflated slot costs on GW start have a far bigger impact in a modern start than they do for a 1960 start. The price of a set relative to plane costs and relative to starting cash is significantly different, even in similar airports.

Offline NickSTL

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 02:42:27 PM »
Your company shows that a strategy with red eyes from day one can work. Mine shows that you can avoid them and be profitable, too. After my first 4 planes, I was barely above 10 hours of daily flight - and already first in company value. There must be something that is not wrong in this strategy. Execution can't explain everything. I've added longer flights since. Not many, more will come.

Without giving away too much of your strategy, why would you leave planes sitting around unused during the night? Is it because of the high slot costs that make marginally profitable red-eye routes unprofitable in the short-term?

I always thought not having planes airborne <15 hours per day is a clear mistake that would cost money no matter the strategy, that's why I'm asking. :)

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 09:24:35 PM »
Before answering, another impression : I like the 25 minutes tempo. Not insane like the 15 minutes of the cargo test game, but still nervous, quick, allows to see your strategy unfold well.

Without giving away too much of your strategy, why would you leave planes sitting around unused during the night? Is it because of the high slot costs that make marginally profitable red-eye routes unprofitable in the short-term?

Well, you're totally in my strategy, so I'll answer only with riddles. And the riddle here will be : "why should slot costs matter when your flight is longer, and therefore makes more ticket money, for the same investment in slot cost?"

I always thought not having planes airborne <15 hours per day is a clear mistake that would cost money no matter the strategy, that's why I'm asking. :)

I can only encourage you to make comprehensive tests. Without 7-7 schedules, those have a lot of qualities (I even made a tutorial for them), but tend to hide a lot of specifics. Test planes with short routes only, with long routes only, with medium routes only, see how they behave at 0 RI, at 50 RI, at 100RI. Clue : despite route marketing being usually a bad idea, I did use it extensively in my start. But not on any route. Only on specific route profiles.

For reference, the 9th of december stats, 6 months and 8 days after the start of the game :

Quote
1   gazometre au charbon 90 434 041 USD   (1)
2   Air Paros   60 489 546 USD   (2)
3   Vogue Pacific 50 399 250 USD   (3)
4   Majestic 44 681 073 USD   (4)
5   SE7EN 42 621 312 USD   (5)

Se7en had a very different strategy, with 767s. He is the best players for now with very large aircraft. "Best", in the sense of "made the best power start". Yet, less than half my company value. All 4 companies before him fly either only 320s or only 737s. That's not random.

Power start is only a part of the game. In a 85 years game, it's just nice to have. In a 15 years game, it's very important - as you don't have much time to regain lost time. That's why I did prepare for it with a lot of attention to plenty of details. Everything counts, the load factor, the slots you are using, the exact departure time, the turnaround times strategy (and its impact on cancellations, something that can be a killer in early days), the maintenance level of leased planes (and the possible maintenance actions on them), their immediate cost versus time against the next C-Check, and plenty of other details. As well as a good choice of destinations designed to make a maximum of money from start. I was in the green on week 2, which allowed me to very quickly grow and grow and grow bigger.

That's the ultimate riddle I'm not gonna give my tricks for : how to be profitable in week 2 with miserable RI on pax planes? I let you experiment. I did learn by experimenting a lot. And by having no specific ideology. And by accepting many of my held ideas were wrong. And also by scavenging the forum for years old post, hunting for pieces of advice that were not much taken alone, but, mixed together in a coherent strategy, made a powerful package for an efficient power start.

Offline NickSTL

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 09:39:48 AM »
Wow, you clearly put in a lot of thought and it looks like it paid off. Thank you for the detailed response!

Offline Mikri

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Re: First impressions
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 09:47:26 AM »
Gazz your thougths on Seven misses the fact that He has been without competition in narita. But What puzzels me is that he Can oversupply with 50-100 pct without being hit on LF

 

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