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Tips for New Players


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#1
Yuxi

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I think it's time we keep a centralized repository of suggestions for new AE players. Feel free to add your own :)

My 3 main ones for a new airline (until you have > $100M in cash)

1) minimize the number of different aircraft families (keep to 1-2 families in the first few months)

  • each additional family adds huge maintenance costs that are uneconomical if you only have 1-2 aircraft in the family

2) maximize flight hours (aircraft utilization), especially in the startup phase

 

3) spend cash to lease more aircraft and grow your revenue as quickly as possible



#2
El Cobrador

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My most successful (i.e., actually profitable) business model has been a low-cost carrier. I've adopted a number of practices from various real low-cost carriers, such as Southwest, Allegiant, and WestJet. Among them:

--Point to point, no hub and spoke
--Secondary airports
--Flights to airports which have limited or no service from mainline carriers
--Regional aiports with lower landing and handling charges than larger established airports
--Limiting IFS--if any--to inexpensive snacks
--No IFE
--Using one type of aircraft
--Maintaining low operational costs
--High employee/aircraft productivity

(Much of the above has been touched upon by various other, more experience AE members.)

Out of a desperation of sorts, due to the fact that I was having a difficult time being profitable, I simply went to Wikipedia and studied up on various low-cost carriers and noted what they do. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it worked to copy their practices. I don't currently have any mega-airlines with twenty hubs but I enjoy myself and feel like I'm operating relatively realistically.

Also, somewhere in one of these forums I found this suggested formula for acquiring aircraft; it works fairly well for me, although I sometimes stray away from it:

After cash reaches $5 million,
1. Lease used aircraft until $15-20 million
2. Lease new aircraft until $25-30 million
3. Buy used aircraft until $150-200 million
4. Buy new aircraft

#3
Delta-Northwest

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After cash reaches $5 million,
1. Lease used aircraft until $15-20 million
2. Lease new aircraft until $25-30 million
3. Buy used aircraft until $150-200 million
4. Buy new aircraft


I belive i have readed this in the AE tutorial in the wiki? :eyebrow: :P

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#4
Spanish David

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--Limiting IFS--if any--to inexpensive snacks
--No IFE



Some AE-Quality guru's wont like this :P

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#5
El Cobrador

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I belive i have readed this in the AE tutorial in the wiki? :eyebrow: :P


I was not sure where I found it, although I did attempt to give proper credit! :( :)

#6
El Cobrador

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Some AE-Quality guru's wont like this :P


I suppose not, but it seems to work for some real airlines. :rofl2:

#7
ar157

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Scam IFS and IFE ftw~

#8
Spanish David

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Scam IFS and IFE ftw~


I agree :P

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#9
FlyingDutchman7

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In R2 it seems like the more aircraft types you have, the more rapidly you grow. That's because Boeing can only make you one 727 per two weeks. And if I'm looking right nobody has bought any airplanes yet, although 20 airlines have more their value at more than 500 mln. Again, this is done for a more rapid growth. (I guess most of those 20 have 150 mln cash or more, like I do)

#10
Ioh

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I only follow the first rule, im just to kind to pax :P

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#11
h3llr4iser

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I think it's time we keep a centralized repository of suggestions for new AE players. Feel free to add your own :)

My 3 main ones for a new airline (until you have > $100M in cash)

1) fewer aircraft types (keep to 1-2 families in the beginning) - each additional family adds huge maintenance costs that are uneconomical if you only have 1-2 aircraft in the family
2) more flight hours, higher aircraft utilization (especially in the startup phase)
3) spend money on leasing more aircraft, don't waste it on IFE/IFS


This is definitely sound for the start up; Moreover, if you choose a base airport outside of the North America, UK and the Asia/Pacific area, you'll initially enjoy a few low-competition days that will allow you to grow quite consistently.

As the game progresses, I am afraid, all of this goes sort of out of the window...most super-successful airlines on the various world have no real route policy (just open anything you can), just about any type of aircraft they can find from ATR42s to Il-96s, and go with absurd plane/route combinations slamming wide bodies on regional routes :(

#12
Mr Tree

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I agree :P

Absolutely. A new member must focus on nothing but profit until they understand the game. Forget ethics, there aren't even real people at stake here.

#13
pseudoswede

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Absolutely. A new member must focus on nothing but profit until they understand the game. Forget ethics, there aren't even real people at stake here.


What makes you think you need to have ethics even after you understand the game?

#14
Spanish David

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What makes you think you need to have ethics even after you understand the game?


Just crush the competition :P

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#15
Mobeer

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New airline in a new world:
  • Make sure every plane is flying fully loaded and to maximum hours as soon as it is delivered. This is key above all else.
  • Take out a couple of $5m bonds (or 1 $5m and 1 smaller bond) to give funds to lease new planes. Do not take out too many bonds though or else your credit rating becomes so bad that you cannot lease more planes even when profitable.
  • Lease multiple aircraft types from multiple families. Start with 3 families, and look to expand early. This will give much faster deliveries than leasing just a single family of planes.
  • When ordering the first plane of a new plane family time delivery to the start of a month. This times in best with how maintenance is charged
  • Check how much cash is needed for bonds, staff, gates etc and when these are due. Any excess cash should be spent on new leases, but bonds etc do need to be paid.
  • Avoid other airlines (but don't be a pushover). If other airlines all fly long haul then fly short haul.
  • If desperate, increase prices where there is no competition.
  • If desperate\mean, ignore inflight entertainment and services.
  • Reduce salaries and spare staff to 5% and accept a slightly higher staff turnover.
  • Avoid the largest airports and operate out of the medium sized airports with lower gate fees.
  • Forget all about owning planes for the first year.

New airline in an old world:
  • Much as above
  • Look for old but useful planes that can be leased relatively cheaply (instead of new planes). For example O2 has had lots of planes being replaced at 6-9 years old, with the old planes entering the used pool at an age when they are still very useful.
  • REALLY avoid other airlines


#16
Kitty

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  • In AE you are nearly always forced to embrace a LCC model because even if you have five-star IFE and IFS a LCC can always beat a legacy carrier in AE (also a bug).
  • In my largest airline that spanned for 42 years (Vietnam Airlines) I never ever owned an aircraft. The only problem with only leasing is that with huge orders you have to extend the leases in masses every 3-6 years. Owning your planes is NOT WORTH IT at the beginning because you replace you're first fleet quickly.
  • Never focus on one airport, I usually have around 9 gates at 4 airports, not 36 at 1. A specific type of airline "gozilla"-airlines can easily destroy your base but I don't recommend this type.

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#17
Mr Tree

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What makes you think you need to have ethics even after you understand the game?

If that is the path a member chooses to follow with their airline, it is fine. But with crushing the competition, is that really the kind of thing we should be teaching new members?

#18
pseudoswede

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  • In AE you are nearly always forced to embrace a LCC model because even if you have five-star IFE and IFS a LCC can always beat a legacy carrier in AE (also a bug).


Absolutely not a bug. Probably around 95% of passengers choose their flights based on price, period. LCCs normally offer the cheapest fares on city-pairs compared to legacy carriers.

#19
Spanish David

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If that is the path a member chooses to follow with their airline, it is fine. But with crushing the competition, is that really the kind of thing we should be teaching new members?


Should we teach them to be crushed ?

Crush or be crushed :P

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#20
h3llr4iser

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Should we teach them to be crushed ?

Crush or be crushed :P


What about "keep your routes profitable" without "crushing" concepts (such as a godzilla-airline coming to an airport with flights for 1 $)?




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