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Aircraft Hours Pooling / Fleet Management

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#21
Viking Air

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Have lived,IRL, delays from not having a replacement aircraft out base to expecting a replacement aircraft. Good for me it wasn't a business trip :)


it could be interesting to simulte a dispatch reliability for our aircraft. We could make it variable on quantity of spare parts airline want to keep at stock and age of aircraft.
We could also say that dispatch is higher if you have similar sized aircraft available (with spare hours) that could reprotect the flight

Cost of cancelled flight (reprotecting passengers on other flights, hotels) could be easily simulated as a cost as 150% of the ticket price (as an advarage) for short range up to 200% or more for a long range.

For information airlines sized as BA, AF or LH normally have 2 or 3 aircraft in stand-by (more on winter as shedules are reduced).

#22
Brando

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but then this allows you to use a plane with 1 hr left towards a 4 hr flight

#23
LLC

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I have a suggestion for future versions of AE regarding the way aircraft are scheduled on routes.

Currently, every aircraft is given 22 hours a day to operate. Every aircraft must be placed individually on routes based on the number of hours it has left to fly.

My suggestion is to consolidate the hours on every aircraft type, so flights can be scheduled based on the aircraft type and not each individual aircraft.

For example, having 4x A320-200s will give me 88 hours a day to scheduled A320 flights. This allows me 88hrs of flying time for my A320 fleet. Buying more A320s will increase the flying time per day for my A320 fleet by 22 hours each.

This presents a more realistic approach to scheduling, as airlines schedule flights by the aircraft fleet, and not based on every single aircraft. It can also simplify aircraft utilisation and route placement for aircraft fleets.

This seems to be a rather drastic change in the way the game operates, but I feel that it will not only make the game more simple, but much more realistic.


How would this affect point-to-point (southwest airlines) type airlines

could this only apply to where (what airport) the aircraft "beds down at night" between a daily set of flights ?

#24
QK Flight Industries

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I have a suggestion for future versions of AE regarding the way aircraft are scheduled on routes.

Currently, every aircraft is given 22 hours a day to operate. Every aircraft must be placed individually on routes based on the number of hours it has left to fly.

My suggestion is to consolidate the hours on every aircraft type, so flights can be scheduled based on the aircraft type and not each individual aircraft.

For example, having 4x A320-200s will give me 88 hours a day to scheduled A320 flights. This allows me 88hrs of flying time for my A320 fleet. Buying more A320s will increase the flying time per day for my A320 fleet by 22 hours each.

This presents a more realistic approach to scheduling, as airlines schedule flights by the aircraft fleet, and not based on every single aircraft. It can also simplify aircraft utilisation and route placement for aircraft fleets.

This seems to be a rather drastic change in the way the game operates, but I feel that it will not only make the game more simple, but much more realistic.

How would this affect point-to-point (southwest airlines) type airlines

could this only apply to where (what airport) the aircraft "beds down at night" between a daily set of flights ?


This is already planned (in a fashion) for AE4. You wouldn't route specific aircraft to certain routes, the system would do that automatically. This would make it easier to maintain a lower fleet usage and pave the way for incidents and maintenance issues (backup aircraft could be slotted in as needed).

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#25
dieseltu

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Most, if not all, airlines have one or more bases for their aircraft and crew. "Spare" aircraft and crews are available at these bases in case of a mishap. Parking an aircraft overnight at an airport where the aircraft isn't based and paying for hotel accommodations for the crew increases costs. Not having a "spare" aircraft out of a base in case of a mishap also means that pax have to wait for a new aircraft to come and pick them up or wait until the one there is fixed.

From a maintenance point of view making A and/or B checks are cheaper to do at a base with contracted mechanics than doing them at an FBO's location. C checks are usually performed at bases with contracted mechanics and D checks are performed at mayor maintenance facilities which are usually operated by mayor airlines or independent contractors for a fee.

 

My experience is  is that a large proportion of the fleet is overnighted at a non bases. It can be more or less then half.   Regardless of the cost to hotel a crew.  Or if it needs a line or A check.  The point  being to bring passengers into a hub. Get ALL the aircraft flying as much as possible. As many times as possible during the day. And to have the first flight of the day ,  hub passengers going out at the same time. As early  in the morning as possible.    The incoming aircraft  generaly arrive at the same time.  And leave the same time.   There's not enough passenger demand at the hub airports to base all the aircraft there .  And fly  half of the fleet  out first.  To pick up passengers . While the other half fleet waits for their return. And there won't be  enough gates for them all anyways.   Or people to get them to the gates after the first half leave.  The Line, A,B, checks are done in house. Here.  And some unscheduled maintenance.  The C, D, are in house too. But at a bigger hub.  And really.  They break up the Letter checks anyways and have parts done  at different hubs.  To utilize maintenance  techs, between  full letter checks.  Contracting out maintenance usually gets you less quality.  But they have their place for sure.

 

As far as a spare goes.  There's one.  And it's usualy broken.  Or in a letter check. 



#26
St. Agre

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So I'm just gonna post my overall thoughts that might go into details slightly outside Fleet Management, but this was the most relevant topic :P

 

Basically, while realistic simulation is the goal, getting truly realistic leads to using spreadsheets and seeing nothing but numbers and lists of planes, and obviously that isn't going to appeal to many people. AE4 should be about the management aspect, but it should be so in a way where there are Departure/Arrival Boards at airpots, Airline Route Maps, and a lot of the other things we already see in AE. You should be able to show off your airline and things like what services you offer on your flights, your seat configs, and such should be easily shared and easily seen.

 

I also think that again, while realistic simulation is the ultimate goal, it should not be a game where maximum effeciency is necessary to even survive. Basically, both British Airways and Snowy Pacific should not be mutually exclusive, the game shouldn't be "QUALITY OR DIE" but it also shouldn't be "MAX EFFECIENCY OR DIE."

 

Basically, it should be a game where you can create any type of airline and it should provide you with a challenge, but it also shouldn't be impossible levels of micromanagement.


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#27
Erion

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So I'm just gonna post my overall thoughts that might go into details slightly outside Fleet Management, but this was the most relevant topic :P

 

Basically, while realistic simulation is the goal, getting truly realistic leads to using spreadsheets and seeing nothing but numbers and lists of planes, and obviously that isn't going to appeal to many people. AE4 should be about the management aspect, but it should be so in a way where there are Departure/Arrival Boards at airpots, Airline Route Maps, and a lot of the other things we already see in AE. You should be able to show off your airline and things like what services you offer on your flights, your seat configs, and such should be easily shared and easily seen.

 

I also think that again, while realistic simulation is the ultimate goal, it should not be a game where maximum effeciency is necessary to even survive. Basically, both British Airways and Snowy Pacific should not be mutually exclusive, the game shouldn't be "QUALITY OR DIE" but it also shouldn't be "MAX EFFECIENCY OR DIE."

 

Basically, it should be a game where you can create any type of airline and it should provide you with a challenge, but it also shouldn't be impossible levels of micromanagement.

 

I agree with this. and here's my suggestion: I also want fleets BADLY, it's really hard sometimes to assign routes individually, under the risk of one plane getting less income than other of the same time. I also think fleets should be optional. Much like groups in OpenTTD, the player could have the option to create a group and place any aircraft it wants there. It should also make it easier to change IFE and seat settings (Like having 772 in 2 class layouts), while also distributing the income among all aircrafts in the given fleet (they'll be rotating between all the routes assigned to that fleet.)

One idea to make this possible, and also bases (which should also be optional), is this:

Let's say you have your base in BSB, and you make routes to all major airports around. Now, you want to make a base in GRU and start routes from there. You can do this if you have a route there, much like schedules work today. So you would have some options at airports:

Build Terminal
Build AC Maintenance Center
Build Crew Base
Built (add something else here)

Something like that. So, you have your fleet (or individual plane) assigned to be based in GRU <only> because you have <built> your base there. The planes on a fleet would be rotating while 1 or 2 would stay put until another plane arrives. This could be set from the aircraft menu. This would reduce the amount of micromanagement in "setting routes", making it possible to work on detailed scheduling (which would allow for overnight fees and other things.), for example.

So, for short:

- Assign fleets, and aircrafts to that fleet (with limitations like type or class layout)
- Build bases on airports, adding such options to the already existing Termina building interface
- Assign fleets to given base.

IF we have AC scheduling:

- Overnight fees (when not in a maintenance center and/or crew base)

Hope i was at least slightly clear :P



#28
KawaiiBert

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nice idea, but i think its too complicated to programm, and its still a free game. so i dont think its realistic



#29
HariKari

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nice idea, but i think its too complicated to programm, and its still a free game. so i dont think its realistic

 

Wouldn't it be easier? The game already determines hours available/hours total. So you would make an entity that is able to grow the total hours available to an aircraft. It would essentially be one airplane entry for the entire fleet of that aircraft that simply gains additional hours by having aircraft pooled. Have a way to submit aircraft to the pool and they are taken out of point-to-point circulation. 

 

I think if you keep the current system, but also allow pooling at a nerfed utilization rate, you create the right balance of fun vs micromanagement. Point to point/basing for maximum utilization would still be a thing, but players could also pool planes if they were willing to take an hours available hit (lose 4-6 a day when pooled) for a much easier time. If you balance the power of pooling with a utilization hit, you can account for the lack of location. This would also open up avenues for buildings/game mechanics that increase your pool efficiency, like building corporate offices and localized repair facilities. Airports could also have a pool efficiency statistic based on how busy they are, with heavily trafficked airports incurring more delays and hitting your pool harder. The same buildings/features would help increase the on time performance of point-to-point manually programmed planes as well.

 

Of all the potential features for AE4, this one has the potential to really open up the game for new players and to make it more relaxing for players that don't want to min-max their way to victory. When I scoop up 20 of a given airframe on the used market, it's a genuine pain to go through and individually set them up. Large fleets become unwieldy very quickly. 



#30
5280_Av8r

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Wouldn't this also need to consider seat configuration as well? AAL has a Trans-Continental seat config for it's A321s. Some airlines also have international and domestic configurations for other aircraft like the 757, 767, and 787. You don't want a domestic config on an international route and you might not want an international config on a domestic route. So when selecting an aircraft type, there should be a selection for use all configs or to select specific configs for that route. 

 

I also think the option for oneway flights should be implemented as well because IRL, both directions from two airports don't have the same demand as they currently do in the game. With oneway flights, you could operate 7 daily in one direction and 5 in the other, so you end up serving the route with 5 roundtrip flights and 2 oneway flights due to a heavier demand in one direction than the other. This new set-up I believe would make oneway flights less tedious than they would be with the current system.



#31
Don Baker

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I think the only reason to base aircraft would be for maintenance. It's inefficient to have a maintenance base at every destination and each plane has to spend time in the hangar. There is also hangaring. Planes parked overnight on the tarmac are subject to weather damage and hangar space for some of your larger vehicles is . Perhaps, with a terminal, a maintenance hangar is built.

Perhaps maintenance could even be farmed out to reputable firms.

 

One thing I'd like not to see is the ability to schedule 223x weekly flights on a two hour route. Departing every half hour on a two hour flight seems to lead to conjestion on one end or the other.  



#32
Don Baker

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Have lived,IRL, delays from not having a replacement aircraft out base to expecting a replacement aircraft. Good for me it wasn't a business trip :)

I have lived in real life pulling a plane from the hangar so we could get that extra 15 PAX when North Central  couldn't land at the airport. It was kind of fun calming the upset pax who just had to get to Chicago that morning.



#33
rbt001

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I think the concept of "pooling" unused hours makes the game more unrealistic.

 

If I understand correctly, 

 

AC#1 is deployed to fly only between points A<->B as many times as it can, but has 2 hours unused, which we'll assume is less than an A<->B trip

 

AC#2 is deployed to fly only between points C<->D as many times as it can, but has 3 hours unused.

 

So you want to combine that to 5 hours of flight time that you can use on AC#3 which may fly P<->Q, just because AC#1,AC#2, and AC#3 are the same type?

 

That just makes it too easy!

 

 

I'm new to AE, and I respect some of the challenges that I've encountered:

 

I learned that if AC#2 flying only between C<->D has sufficient hours to take on an A<->B route, AC#2 CANNOT be added to an A<->B route since its only serviced airports on its flight schedule are C and D.  I'd have to schedule a flight for AC#2 between C or D  <-> A or B.  To me, that's realistic and just another challenge in building routes and matching aircraft and configurations to pax demand.

 

I've also learned there is a BIG CHEAT build in, to dumb it down:

 

Right now "Daily Demand" is even:  it isn't broken out by days of the week.  So if a plane with 60 Biz Class seats is assigned 4 trips to a route that has a daily demand of 35 Biz Pax daily, all that demand is captured:

 

35 daily demand times 7 days = 245

 

4 trips with 60 seats = 240 seats divided by 7 days = 34 daily seats 

 

Assuming a route with no competition, if I don't overprice, I'll get 100% load factor unless I overprice (or maybe other factors I haven't learned yet.)

 

In the real world, an airline that has 4 flights a week couldn't capture 105 of those pax, 35/day on the 3 days they don't fly.  

 

Pooling unused hours means, for example three aircraft, one in Denver, one in Miami and one in Seattle, each with 2 hours, could miraculously fly a 6 hour route?  

 

That would take all the fun out of planning efficient flights and city pairs.

 

Right now my airline has an overall utilization of 19.69 hours daily, and that's lower because I have two aircraft with about 8 hours available.  My next airport expansion will take those into consideration.

 



#34
5280_Av8r

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I think the concept of "pooling" unused hours makes the game more unrealistic.

 

If I understand correctly, 

 

AC#1 is deployed to fly only between points A<->B as many times as it can, but has 2 hours unused, which we'll assume is less than an A<->B trip

 

AC#2 is deployed to fly only between points C<->D as many times as it can, but has 3 hours unused.

 

So you want to combine that to 5 hours of flight time that you can use on AC#3 which may fly P<->Q, just because AC#1,AC#2, and AC#3 are the same type?

 

I think the idea of pooling would work as long as you maybe assign the aircraft a base. Let's say you have 5 aircraft of the same type based in city A, then you have an X amount of hours allocated to that aircraft type for city A. As you add flights out of city A using that aircraft type, the number hours in the pool goes down until you receive more aircraft and assign them to that base. This means that an aircraft could have a schedule like: A->B->A->C->A->D->A where it operates three round trips a day. It would free up that hassle of having to do this manually when you have enough aircraft hours to operate the flight(s), but the hours are spread across multiple aircraft. I don't think we could make it to the point where an aircraft could go: A->B->C->D->E->C->F I think it needs to be round trips to/from the assigned base. In the real world, especially in the US, an aircraft could be operating in/out of Chicago one week, then fly to Los Angeles and operate out of there for a few days, then fly over to Houston and operate out of there for a few days, and so on. I don't think the pooling would be that sophisticated, but rather only operate out of an assigned base as I mentioned earlier. An advanced programmer could make it so that the system would look at your entire network and the type of aircraft you've chosen to operate, the round trip block time and figure out the best flight schedule for each aircraft, but that's probably too much work for this free game.

 

However, I do agree that it would be better if there was different demand based on day of the week rather than a set number.







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