While I was browsing for Jetabout templates (just for the intrigue it brought), I stumbled upon this website called airlines-manager.com, which is also a free airline simulator in the same vein as Airline Empires, but with an active development team, a company backing its progress, and an extensive (albeit French) community on their forums. The major difference that I see is mostly that it has somewhat of a more graphic-based interface. They do have an English subforum, though it's quite sparse, and the game itself can have a few, though not major, translation problems regarding French. Otherwise, however, it seems like a great alternative that we could try.
If you want to find me, I'm og_EKPO on their forums, http://forum.airline...forum.php?f=161, and my airline on the actual game, called Airlines Manager Professional, is called Manchurian Airlines.