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Not getting enough passengers? Losing Money? Airport won't offer me slots?

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patson:
This thread is going to address several very basic questions:

Why does the plan route screen say direct demand 100 but my airline is getting so much fewer passengers even if there's no competition?

 a. The most likely reason is that passengers from both the departing airport and destination airport are not "aware" of your airline. Take note that each airport has its own "awareness" to your airline and it starts as zero (5 when for first route established to the city). At low awareness, passengers from such an airport will not choose your airline simply because they are not aware of your service. Awareness takes time to build up, and eventually you will see more passengers recognizing your service

 b. Even if there's no direct competition, other airlines might have non-direct flight going between the cities, that would as well compete with your service. Though direct flight is usually more preferable to most passengers given other parameters are similar (pricing, flight quality, airline reputation etc)

 c. Pricing - extremely high price (several times the suggested price) will drive away most passengers. However, if you are the sole provider of the transportation or if demand is very high, overpriced tickets can still be sold out


How can I increase ridership of my flights?

Several trivial solutions: reducing price, investing in service, increasing the service level.

However, it's more important to increase awareness, loyalty and your airline reputation in longer run.

The most important of all though, is the networking. If you operate to several cities will lesser demand, it is very important to link your headquarter airport to another major cities or airline's hub. This would open up all your routes to a much bigger market due to connection flights. Take note that virtual passengers are much more willing to take connection flights offered by the same airline.

Monitor the "Passenger Map" of your route to gain better insights of passenger movements. If you see strong demand in certain channel operated by other airlines, you might consider offering your own flights there to drive up demand of your other routes.

Also positioning of the routes/hub is very important. It is more beneficial to operate flights from gateway cities to reduce total flight time. Keep in mind that only countries with 8+ openness would allow international connection flights (both first departing and final destination airport are from different country from this current airport's country)

Example of good gateway airports (Tokyo and Vancouver)



The route does not make any profit, even at 100% load factor

  a. The route might not be at its 100% airplane utility if either the departing airport or destination airport limit the slots offered. At 100% load factor and max frequency, most routes should be profitable

  b. Very short routes (<100 km) will not be profitable in most scenarios. Flying short routes with huge aircraft will also be a bad idea due to long Flight Turnaround Time of larger aircraft.

  c. Flying from/to large scale airport with small aircraft will not be very profitable. As relatively, it's more costly to fly to large scale airport with smaller aircraft. Keep in mind though, even if certain route is not profitable, it might still be beneficial to your other routes connecting to those cities due to connection flights


Airports offer me so few slots. I can hardly fly with max frequency
 
  Airports consider many factors before assigning slots to your airline (more details in game mechanics thread). However, at the very early stage of the game, the airport's "loyalty to your airline" is likely the limiting factor. To increase loyalty, simply provide decent and stable service to that airport. The increment rate is based on the volume of passengers transported to/from that airport and the airport's population coverage (harder to push up with higher population)


I seem to hit a ceiling of airport slots, what can I do?

  As mentioned above, slots very much rely on loyalty, which is base on flight quality and volume of passengers transported. Therefore to increase loyalty, you might :
 
 a. Increase the flight service level
 
 b. Increase your service investment (in office tab)
 
 c. Increase passenger volume by switching to different aircraft model with bigger capacity

  There are still other factors that affect slot assignment (HQ/bases/airline reputation). For details, please refer to the game mechanics thread


It says my airline grade is not high enough to create certain route, what does that mean?

  Airline grade determines how many routes you can operate for each type : 1. domestic flights 2. international flight within the same continent  and 3. international flight across continents. Airline grade is assessed by your airline reputation. For details, please refer to the game mechanics thread


It says my airline does not have enough "airport credit" to operate a new route, what does that mean?

  Airport credit is determined by your HQ/base size. Operating routes from each of those hubs will consume certain amount of credits with bigger scale airport consuming more. For details, please refer to the game mechanics thread


Direct demand shows 100 between 2 airports, is that the max weekly passengers possible for flights between those 2 airports?

  Direct demand shows only part of the picture, actual passengers volume could be way more (many times more) than the direct demand estimation due to all the connection flights.

  An overly simplified example:
  1. Hong Kong to Los Angeles have direct demand 200
  2. Los Angeles to San Diego have direct demand 100
  3. Hong Kong to San Diego have direct demand 50 (with no direct flight)

  Assuming there's only directly flight Hong Kong <-> Los Angeles, and direct flight from Los Angeles <-> San Diego.

  The final passengers would be:
  Hong Kong <-> Los Angeles = 200 (direct) + 50 (connect) = 250
  Los Angles <-> San Diego = 100 (direct) + 50 (connect) = 150

  So you could imagine that if a hub city is well connected to major world cities, then all the connection route will get major boosts on passenger count.

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