Author Topic: Strategy Discussions  (Read 1758 times)

patson

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
Strategy Discussions
« on: July 08, 2018, 12:14:37 pm »
Hey everyone! I am going to talk about some possible game play strategy here and things that you may or may not know!  ;D

Flight route considerations:
It is very important to consider all the connection flights before you plan the route.

The Obvious:
Of course direct demand matters but it's a small part of the overall demand.

The not so obvious:
Most of the demands come from connection flights. For example if you have a lot of routes flying to the EAST of your HQ, consider a route flying to WEST.  Virtual passengers would only take connection flights that make sense. For example if your HQ is in Las Vegas, and you have a route going to New York, a reasonable choice is to have a route to some west coast city. Flying to Miami will not drive up connection demand on your existing Las Vegas <-> New York route as it's simply to weird to fly all the way to Las Vegas from east coast and then flying back to east coast again.

But there's more:
If you are a smaller airline that serves smaller airports, consider flying to airport hub of mega airlines! When your airline is small, major airlines can actually boost your ridership greatly! Consider this, Air Canada (Hub in Vancouver and LAX) has high capacity flying to the Asia, while your Las Vegas airline serve some smaller airports that Air Canada does not cover, now connecting to Air Canada's hubs all of the sudden open your airline to the asian market even though you do NOT have service to it. And that new demand is MAJOR! Take note that most asian passengers are not aware of your airline (as you have no service to it) but once you build your airline reputation (more like a global brand), more asian passengers will start taking note of your airline and start flying with you

Of course in long run major airlines are going to be your competitor for major airports, but if you are flying to 2nd tier cities, they can actually be your good partner  ;)


Gateway airports
Some airports are naturally gate way airports. For example due to it's geographic location (cities on the coast).

One interesting example is Hawaii, there are several "vacation hubs" in hawaii but those are smaller airports that major jets cannot land on. So this makes Honolulu airport a "gateway" airport. All the passengers that want to travel to Hawaii would have to fly to Honolulu first and then take connection flights (smaller jet) to other islands.

Another crazy idea (sorta) to expand to Asia w/o purchasing those expensive long range airplane is to setup a hub in Hawaii, and then use mid range airplane to fly to hawaii and then to the Asia. It probably will work but then you need to compete with all those direct flights...still you might be able to find a niche market there.

And has anyone thought of using Alaska as a hub yet?  ::)


Airline secondary Hub
Sometimes it might make sense to create a hub in 2nd tier city to serve domestic flights (as slots are easier to get in 2nd tier cities and upkeep cheaper in smaller scale ones) and have your HQ serve longer range/international flight. Just make sure there's high capacity link between your HQ and hub

Adding hub in foreign country/continent also is a good choice as 1. It opens up a foreign market (passengers from your country to the other country) and domestic market (passengers in that other country can use your airline to fly domestically) at the same time. This would also help freeing up your route quota on regional and intercontinental flights (cause routes within that other countries are counted against "domestic routes" limit)

Setting up in lower income country might not be such a bad choice, yes demand could be low but it's relatively cheaper to upgrade the base and the upkeep is lower too! And low demand is fine as far as that country is an "opened market" (check the openness of that country), then passengers can just make a stopover there and travel to other higher demand countries



Ah....there are many many more interesting strategic options here. I am just writing up a few to start the conversation :) Lemme know if you have any questions or any strategic gameplay you have discovered!  :o
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 12:19:35 pm by patson »

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


patson

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussion
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 12:19:22 pm »
O and routes not making profit might still have values

For example some short range flights that are not profitable...it could drive up demand on your other longer range routes due to connection flights

Blackrowan

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2018, 08:50:33 am »
damn you patson...why you giving away my Alaska idea!!!!!! :p

Arctyc

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussion
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 10:11:08 pm »
O and routes not making profit might still have values

For example some short range flights that are not profitable...it could drive up demand on your other longer range routes due to connection flights

Is the price passengers are willing to pay affected by demand?
For instance if I have no competition from Airport A to B with 1,000 passengers direct demand, and I have capacity for over 1000, would I be able to charge a higher rate and still fill seats if I lowered my capacity (or increased demand above my capacity) on that route?

patson

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2018, 02:20:34 am »
O and routes not making profit might still have values

For example some short range flights that are not profitable...it could drive up demand on your other longer range routes due to connection flights

Is the price passengers are willing to pay affected by demand?
For instance if I have no competition from Airport A to B with 1,000 passengers direct demand, and I have capacity for over 1000, would I be able to charge a higher rate and still fill seats if I lowered my capacity (or increased demand above my capacity) on that route?

yes, price and demand are always related. Some virtual passengers care a little bit less about price while some are more sensitive. So you would want to do a bit of experiment to see what is the sweet spot. You might be able to make more profit by selling less seats but with higher price

It's kind hard to say what is the ideal price. cause u also want to factor in many other things like:
1. Do i want to hurt my competitor by artificially set a very low price to kill your rival's route? (assuming your route has enough capacity to absorb the passengers, otherwise it wouldn't work)
2. Do i want to provide a reasonable price to increase ridership so i can gain more airport loyalty and airline reputation? (which is directly related to how many passengers you transported)
3. Do i want to set a cheap price on certain link to stimulate demand on other of my routes?\
etc etc
Agree Agree x 1 View List

foolsgold345

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 12:06:23 am »
Here's what not to do.

Don't start with the "Humble Beginnings" preset with a headquarters in Perth, Australia. All the airports are beyond your flight radius. I learned this the hard way and then marveled at my stupidity.  ;D

I've found steady profit (climbed 15 rep pts. with no planes better than a CRJ200) by finding a medium-distance route between two high income cities, and connecting my HQ to various smaller destinations with relatively good business demand. I lose money on all but one of my connecting routes, but they seem to drive solid business demand to my main profitable route, which I'm milking for everything it's worth until I can pay to expand my fleet.
Optimistic Optimistic x 1 View List

patson

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 08:17:15 pm »
foolsgold345 Perth should have been playable if i have not forgotten to patch the "isolated town" features...  :-[

Isolated towns are small pop airport that have no major airport in close range.

Such a feature will boost passenger demand going from those isolated town to bigger airport within certain range.

A lot of the towns in western Australia are considered isolated town, therefore the demand from those small airports to Perth should be boosted after the patch...

For isolated town, u should see a little "unplugged" charm in the airport popup  ;)
Agree Agree x 1 View List

foolsgold345

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 05:53:49 pm »
Hi patson!

Silly me, I was too far zoomed out to see some of the smaller airports around Perth: I thought my Embraers didn't have the flight radius to reach East Australia.
You're right that it is indeed playable.
Love Love x 1 View List

losgatitospeligrosos

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2018, 04:03:33 pm »
Do you all find any of the mid-range planes (78-108 PAX) to be useful, or is it generally good to go straight from ATR 42-6 and CRJ 200 to the bigger jets? The jump in fuel burn for the 78-108 PAX seat planes seems to really dent their usefulness as opposed to jumping to A318 or B737 directly.

alex

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2018, 05:07:29 pm »
I do not. In addition to the fuel use, the following concerns predominate:

1. There's just very little need for anything in between an ATR 42 / CRJ200 and A318. Any route that can't afford the slot consumption of the smaller but can't afford the fuel consumption of the latter is just not worth running in the first place.
2. There are jumps in turnaround time and airport fees at 60 and 150 capacity. If you're going to go into that size category you might as well go for the top of it.
3. A318s are amazing planes on an enormous variety of routes and you will never find yourself downsizing your fleet. I currently have 117 of them (alongside 10 737-700Cs for a few niche routes).
Like Like x 1 View List

patson

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2018, 05:12:00 pm »
Smaller jet in this game in general are a lot more profitable (per passenger). The problem though, is that you will eventually hit lot limit so you will be forced to upgrade to larger aircrafts

In late game, the main objective would be to transport as many passengers as you can to dominate in countries therefore profitability though still very important, might not be the only factor to consider

Oh also, i might tweak the airplane category every now and then, but my plan is to make it more transparent to user (in the aircraft info) instead of being hidden like now

My favorite:
Boeing 737 MAX 9 - I have almost 200 of them and still ordering more ;)

alex

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2018, 05:20:51 pm »
Profitability is my primary factor only occasionally sacrificed to the needs of my network or cases where valuable (rep-wise) passengers can be got "cheaply" on a route not justified by a full accounting of all costs (including implicit service cost and implicit slot cost).

t1853

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2018, 11:53:37 pm »
I found the An148 to be a compelling upgrade immediately after building up a regional presence early on as the range itself was compelling enough for me along with the passenger cap and relatively low price. I didn't move to A318 until I was directly competing on large, high capacity routes with other airlines. The lower efficiency and profit initially is offset by the much lower cost of the Il-96-300 which aren't too much affected by higher margin intercontinental flights in my experience. They're kind of like a bootleg version of the 767-600ER for a third of the price. I found out the hard way about the 350+ PAX fee multiplier increase when I tried to go for the 400 seater Il early on.

camron

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Strategy Discussions
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 09:40:11 am »
network is very important. start with short routes from your hq and then do medium haul. work up to longish haul. then increase frequency on short haul until your load factor drops below 100%. then do the same to medium haul and then long haul. at some point(which i haven't reached yet) you will hit the point of diminishing returns where its a better idea to open a new base.