Author Topic: Hit a wall, and don't know what to do. Any suggestions?  (Read 257 times)

MikeW

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Hit a wall, and don't know what to do. Any suggestions?
« on: November 15, 2018, 02:46:49 am »
First of all, I just wanted to thank Patson for making this in the first place! Great work!

However, after playing for a few weeks, I've become kind of frustrated and wondering if I'm doing things wrong, or if this is just how the game is currently?

1) With the 50mil you're given to start an airline, how do new players ever hope to compete with airlines that have been playing for months?
2) Loan interest. Seriously. 25-35% is beyond unrealistic and unfair, especially when you're stuck in a loop of paying off loans, refurbing your aircraft, loan, buy used aircraft (because you can never afford to buy new in the beginning) rinse and repeat. It really hampers growth! I know many people say in this forum "It's just a game" buy what airline is using the same predatory lender as a shady used car lot! Even they don't charge 30% interest  ;D
3) Reputation and Service Funding. It seems totally arbitrary and not well explained. There's tool-tips for class configuration, but not for something as important as this? I'm pumping what seems to be 30-50% of my profit into service funding, and the number keeps dropping even though it says "steady" What gives? 5 star service, and I try not to run my fleet into the triangle.
4) So I blow 50mil on a lounge at my home airport. My alliance is using it too, cool! I pay 323k for upkeep, AND another 102k in supplies??? It only makes 204k in income, and I'm stuck eating a loss? There shouldn't be a charge for supplies if we're being billed a cost for upkeep. That should be factored in. Why can't we control admission either? What If I want to make it free for 1st and Biz, but have the option of charging Econ pax for it? I'm paying, I should be able to do that me thinks....
Either way the damn lounge is like 10x more than it should be. You're telling me a room that I have to PAY to upkeep costs more than a brand new CRJ?!?! I don't think so lol
 
All of my routes are profitable. I've found a few that pay 1-300k, and 1 that is paying me about 500k. I'm stuck with a huge amount of CRJ200's because they're cheap, a handful of 700's and ERJ170's each, and  few 737-max9's and 787's. I had to renew 3 of my ERJ's and that loan payment is damn near killing me. The kick in the head is as soon as my loans are paid, I'm going to have to start the cycle of refurbing more older aircraft again. How have you guys found ways around this, or to better manage it? I appreciate any feedback and help :D

Catweazle

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Hi MikeW

Great questions, but hang in there - the challenges of the game grow exponentially with the size of your airline (ie is harder for large airlines).

I *strongly* recommend reading the FAQ carefully if you haven't already, there's a lot to think about. Meanwhile, my amateur answers to your queries would be -

1. Players are limited to number of routes they can operate, and the way it works, for large airlines these have to be mostly high capacity routes. There are truckloads of highly profitable routes (as a % of revenue) out there that have low competition. Also note, smaller 'market share' of any route means you can raise prices (well it works that way for me).

2. The stated interest is misleading - it's a total of 35% over the entire loan term, and actually works out to around 10-12%pa for the 5 year loan. If you know your way around Excel you could figure out the IRR but i think the 5 year loans are the way to go. (work it out from the $ repayments, not the stated interest rates).

3. Reputation and service funding take a while to get used to... but strangely these are also the reason new airlines can quickly get a foothold in the game (larger airlines simply cannot afford high service levels). Read the forum posts, especially in alliance boards, where there are lots of great tips (as well as FAQ). At most basic level:
+ make every route a 5 star route
+ set your autoreplace on planes to at least 50% (airline maintenance quality greatly impacts service, and thus reputation)

4. Start out with low level bases, and don't grow them until you run out of routes at that airport (at least initially). Check route profitability/ competition before setting up the route - it costs a lot to set up at major airports. I wouldn't even worry about lounges until you get larger airlines, but i'm not 100% sure. Lounges only make money from business/first class PX. Lounges are very new to this game, so it wouldn't surprise me if there were more developments in that area over next few months.

Use your smallest planes to start new routes as you expand, but eventually, gradually, sell the old small planes off as you upsize your fleet. New routes to new cities will have very few slots, so small planes help keep costs down while you grow reputation.

The basic growth process is -
- set up profitable routes, grow rep - make sure NET INCOME is positive (not just cashflow) in general
- build and upgrade bases *strategically* (i have demolished a dozen bases rethinking my strategy at different stages)
- more passengers to countries -> higher rep -> can build more bases -> more planes

It's often said in this game, it starts out being about money, but very quickly becomes all about reputation.  But you do need a 'cash buffer' to cover renewals. If your current game is beyond redemption, don't worry, you keep your reputation if you 'reset' (bankruptcy). Start again with another 50m...

Good luck
Catweazle (AAA Airlines)

Edit: elucidating.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 06:03:04 am by Catweazle »