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#1 Roddi

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Posted 14.07.2017 - 00:00

What’s the idea here?

 

I would like to try a written sort of let’s play. I don’t know exactly what I want, but maybe I’ll figure something out on the way (and maybe I’ll lose interest and the project will die). I don’t want to make a tutorial but maybe I create some context on the way for learners of airlinesim. It will be more about the experience of playing the greatest business simulation ever and “living in the clouds”.

 

Feel free to comment, correct me (please do) or ask questions (I can’t promise to answer all of them). However, in case of emerging discussions I would recommend opening up a new thread for them. I will try to make this series readable between the comments, so this first post will be edited regularly and become a table of contents.

 

Giza Air (deliberately out of business)

 

First steps (post #2) and first scheduling (post #3)

Day 2 - adjustments, new flights and first bookings (post #5)

Until the end of day 2 - many more flights and a few more bookings (post #7)

Checking and two more planes (post #9)

Mysterious bookings spike (post #10)

Short update - good bookings (post #11)

Finances - oh no (post #13)

Slashing unprofitable flights and the results of that (post #14)

Excel stuff (with current inventory overview) (post #16)

Weekend closing and first tests to Europe (post #17)

New tests needed, first A320 and some frustration (post #18)

The end of season 1 - I deleted Giza Air (post #19)

 

Season 2 - Canada (deliberately out of business)

 

Canada! (post #21)

S02E02 - First two weekend closings (post #24)

 

Season 3 - Russia - Iset Airways

 

Season 2 is dead, long live season 3! (post #25)

S03E02 - Bus routes (post #26)

S03E03 - Scheduling around (post #27)


Edited by Roddi, 07.01.2018 - 18:43.


#2 Roddi

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Posted 14.07.2017 - 00:13

Giza Air - what to do before you can schedule the first flight

 

I searched a long while for a nice place to start this experiment. Now Egypt it is. On Meigs.

 

I have to say I’m not completely sure about Egypt, but we’ll see.

 

CAI has 77% slot availability with a rate of 11 slots in five minutes. There are two competitors, Sun of Aegypt (712 departures) and Al Yakut (162 departures). It seems they haven’t grown for a while (based on facts and figures and on the founding dates). Database-statistics tell me they move around 170k people in a week together. I have seen other servers where the Egypt carriers transport over 2 million a week. So, there’s room for more.

 

 

Some strategy (living in the clouds)

 

What to do with CAI? The domestic market isn’t that big and won’t take my airline very far. So I have to connect the region around too. Following that I hope to get masses (a little cloudy) of tourists mostly from Europe. After that it will get very cloudy. Maybe I can connect significant portions of Africa over CAI? Geographically that might work, especially if I have a broad variety of connections into Europe.

 

 

First steps

 

Founded and launched!

 

xQtHcX.jpg

 

 

Finding the right planes

 

I have to find a good supply of old machinery so I can get as many flights in the air as possible for as little money as possible. When I will fly in enough money I will change to modern models. I haven’t completely decided which ones I will use. I’m sure about the A320/A321-series, but what in the lower ranks? Embraer or Bombardier, maybe both? I don’t like the E70/75, they don’t bring the right margins. Now ...

 

There are a few B737-500 HGW, no really old A319/320, though. Do I have to try the DC-9 and MD-80er? Also there are some usable ATR 72 for a nice price, privately owned.

 

The ATR 42 however has a nice supply, even from AS Leasing.

 

wJ6Xnc.jpg

 

Maybe Yak-40? Leasing rate under 1000. No, 40 year old Yakovlev isn’t a good strategy, I tried this at least twice in my career. Oh, they are so nicely cheap ... well, just no, you have to pay your passengers to take this planes. I’m curious, is there anybody who ever got them to work?

 

Don’t. Do. This.

 

nx2Mre.jpg

 

How about CR1 and CR2? Are the CR1 good? The first 10 for under 20k. Let’s try one, if they are able to produce money, then I go for those mini jets instead of ATR42. Or maybe I take the ATR to, I have to wait how much money I can generate.

 

Xl877X.jpg

 

I try this type before I lease a bunch of planes from a private lender. It wouldn’t be nice of me to lease 10 planes and then immediately after do a restart so the lender has to put his planes into the market again. I will show you how I try one CR1 first in a moment.

 

 

Cabin layout

 

While I’m waiting for the plane (it takes an hour if I’m the only bidder) I will work on the cabin layout. I already tried around inside my other airline before I started on Meigs.

 

pzeSm7.jpg

 

In the cabin I aimed for 3 bars at around 3000-3500km, it is hard to get for all classes, so this is what I take here.

 

This might be overshooting, I doubt I will use this machine to fly more than 2000km.

 

 

Service profiles

 

I hate to define the service profiles. It’s the one task at the start of an airline that I despise most. All this fine tuning. You know what? I take the ones of my other airlines and don’t show them to you. Company secret! Sweat your own blood on this one. (You might however get clues later on if you watch carefully and I don’t mind if somebody analyses the hints publicly.) I can tell you that I make different service profiles for different distances and I choose them very strictly. After I made them once I will never ever think about them.

 

A up to 800km

B up to 2000km

C up to 4000km

D up to 6000km

E up to 10000km

F over 10000km

 

They cover everything I need, if I fly 801km the flight receives profile B, if I fly 800km the flight receives profile A, there will be no second guessing ever. This stuff doesn’t exist in my playing style. I define it once and from then on take it as a constant.

 

Why do they have such crazy names you ask? So I can schedule them with one hit on ‘tab’ and one hit on ‘b’ and will be ready.

 

 

What else?

 

Oh, maintenance ... Helvetic. I guess they do the best work, the condition of the aircraft deteriorates least and I have to repair fewer damage points next time round. (As my great-grandmother used to say: “We are too poor to buy cheap.”)

 

One comment on personnel management: I never change the salary. I rather take 5 red bars for mood instead of going into a death spiral of salary with my competitors.

 

 

Next post: Scheduling the first flights


Edited by Roddi, 14.07.2017 - 00:24.


#3 Roddi

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Posted 14.07.2017 - 00:20

Now the real stuff - where to fly to?

 

First of all domestic destinations. HRG and SSH have 6 bars demand, they are the most important domestic airports in Egypt after my main hub CAI. I expect good demand on these routes. However there are those two competitors. They could make it a little bit difficult. I will check the routes with one little plane and if they get good bookings I will quickly change to bigger planes. LXR with 5 bars too. All the other routes start with little airplanes.

 

Opening the fleet management I noticed that I didn’t deactivate the comfort functions. My plane got a cabin and pilots automatically. I’m glad I had already made a cabin configuration so that was used as standard.

And I missed another something, still. I just wanted to start scheduling. Maybe I should open up a few stations before that ... binge opening all of Egypt at once ...

 

 

First flight plan

 

9bbSaW.jpg

 

This has to do it. Maintenance ratio of 158% could be better, but whatever. You can see (or maybe not) I disabled the flight planning for full 5 minutes in the game settings. Sometimes every minute counts.

 

I use an “organized chaotic scheduling approach” (more on the “organized” part later), I dislike waves, they take too much of detailed work and my planes could be used much more efficient. I’m absolutely sure a well planned wave system will be much stronger, especially if it comes to situations with not too much demand and few destinations. I try to avoid places with these characteristics when starting airlines. The chaotic approach requires a high frequency of flights to provide connections. I have to fly to some airports 6 times or more to enable connections to airports I can only fly to once or twice a day.

 

lEeZdE.jpg

 

Here is an empty flight to calculate the profitability of the CR1. I’m not completely bought. I got a calculated 38% margin on this flight if it would be booked fully.

 

How did I calculate that? Well I have the ticket prices (red frame) and the passenger capacity (yellow frame), I have all the other costs factored in (greenish frame as long as there are no bookings). I will sell tickets for 36 * 105 + 8 * 317 = 6316, my costs are 2859 + costs for catering + 11 * 44. Every passenger will be handled by an AS-terminal for 11 A$ per pax. Now I calculate 6316 - ‘costs’ = ‘profit’ and then ‘profit’ / 6316 = around 38%.

 

However, I expect a problem with the price level. 130% might be too high. Let’s check the ORS.

 

mXraoT.jpg

 

That might work as long as I don’t want to get connecting pax. In other words it won’t work! So, I have to lower the prices I guess. I thought I’d planned 130%, actually it was 120%. Well then, now we have 115%. The new prices will be planned with the next flights in the row. I will recheck the ORS by then.

 

 

More planes

 

I now placed bids for 10 ATR 42-320. I’m pretty sure they can create profits. When I remember correctly from my other airline, these profits should be higher than 38% margin, more around 50%. We’ll see.

 

... a while later ...

 

The calculated margin on this AT3 flight is way worse than the one on the CR1. Maybe I should stick to the CR1 or take AT7 instead of AT3. My decision to get 10 AT3 was a little bit flawed obviously. I’ll figure that out in the coming days. Had my other airline AT7 then? There are mistakes I run into again and again, for example believing that very little planes can generate big margins.

 

That’s it for the moment.

 

 

Pictures

 

How are the pictures working for you? They are shown in a squeezed form. I took them in the most compact form possible for the AS-layout still to work, so hopefully you can see stuff without having to click on them.

 

Next post: coming soon.

 



#4 rubiohiguey2000

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Posted 14.07.2017 - 00:29

Bad, bad idea about never changing salaries. Mood is extremely important for overall image and overall image can make or break your airline. With better image you can achieve better operating margins. Why and how, well that is this time my secret, same as yours is service profiles. And no, you don't have to get into the death spiral of wages with your competitors.

#5 Roddi

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Posted 14.07.2017 - 19:58

@rubiohiguey2000: It sounds like I have to put some experimenting and thinking in that salary issue, thanks for the hint. :)

 

 

--

 

12 hours later

 

MMBkeW.jpg

 

CR1. Well, that’s bad. However let’s check the airports for their demand calculation time. Oh, ok, only Sohag (HMB) got its demand calculated already (you find this on the specific airport pages), so it isn’t that bad. It just looks bad. Same thing with the AT3 to SSH, no demand calculation yet.

 

HteI8s.jpg

 

AT3 to HRG. Now, that one is bad. I had definitely hoped for more. I’m so glad I didn’t scheduled a narrow body for this and I’m glad I haven’t leased any aircraft from private lenders yet. I might restart in a few days.

 

I had hoped for more. But I expected a little what we now can see because the domestic market is already served by two airlines. So I have to take a deeper look here.

1. I have to balance my ratings and get them to a level where it enables connections.

2. I might have to go all in on little aircraft and flood CAI with all possible destinations around.

 

 

Balancing and tuning

 

cQB6W3.jpg

 

That rating isn’t too bad actually. When I hover my mouse over the bars it shows me 95 over all for SOA and 65 over all for me (GIZ). The price level is ok, not competitive but ok. I adjusted the ORS search for a flight that was booked into the system after I changed the prices yesterday. You can see that on the left (“Earliest departure in 48h”).

 

My AT3 flights produce an overall ORS rating for CAI-HRG of 53, that isn’t good enough. Again I lower my prices, now to 110%. (Same game again, waiting for new flights to be booked into the system with the new price settings. Then I will check them later in the ORS).

 

Why is the rating of the CR1 flight better than the AT3 flight? They both have the same base rating for the flight itself. It’s 20. The flight of the CR1 however is quicker because it flies faster. Overall travel time is a big factor in the rating, so the CR1 flight is better.

 

w8N58Y.jpg

 

If I want to fly to bigger airports I need bigger aircraft. CR1 and AT3 are on the edge of the acceptable for CAI-HRG and CAI-SSH. I don’t like them there and want to change that as quickly as possible. The next bigger destinations in the region are TLV, JED and RUH. Am I even allowed to fly to Israel from Egypt? (database - forbidden routes) There is no Egypt in that list anywhere, so I’m allowed. The AT7 would be big enough to fly from 8 to 8.

 

I’m not sure what to do right now. There are AT7 in the market for a nice price, but they are owned by a private lender. Is the AT7 quick enough for me? Maybe I should instead get more CR1? Should I get 735 already? Should I throw all props out and get only jets? Isn’t the 735 to big already for me? Should I risk getting narrow body jets so I can fly to bigger destinations that are more far away? (questions to myself)

 

 

Action

 

I bid for another 9 CR1 and 1 CR7. The CR7 will test some bigger destinations and if I get something to work around here then I will get some bigger planes for less money from private lenders too. But right now I don’t have too much confidence this will be a success story. The thing is, I just don’t want to settle for 5 or 10% margin. :blush:

 

 

... 1 hour later ...

Scheduling new flights

 

I’m impatient, so I will lower my prices to 100% now and if I hit an ORS rating of 99 with that I will raise them again. Far more important is right now to get passengers in my planes, otherwise this attempt of starting an airline will fail.

 

Scheduling time ...

1. Canceled all the previous planned HRG and SSH flights with AT3.

2. Scheduled new flight plans with CR1 for HRG, SSH and LXR. Somehow I’m left with a calculated margin of only 11% for 100% prices. However, the ORS rating now is 82.

3. Scheduled the one CR7 with JED, RUH, DAM and TLV. The calculated margin for the JED flight is 43%, that is more what I wanted. But I don’t think this will work, my ORS rating is only 84 on this flight.

4. Two CR1 go to MED, ALP, TUU, AMM, HBE, BEY, AQJ, SDV, ETH, TCP, AAC.

 

l94pJt.jpg

 

That doesn’t look much like a good hub, only a little bit from north to south. Maybe an already served Cairo needs way more good thinking and planning?

 

YrYO78.jpg

 

Added PFO, LCA, ECN, RHO, HER, now it looks a little bit more like a hub, at least on the route map.

 

Next step? Waiting. Waiting if there will be some passengers and if there will be some connecting passengers. Let’s hope so.

 

 

... few hours later ...

 

I don’t believe it, I found one connecting pax! However, this pax only counts as half because he won’t switch planes, he simply will keep sitting on his seat and watch out of the window onto the beautiful(?) tarmac of Cairo while waiting to fly further to his destination.

 

 

And another 5 hours or so later ...

 

7oJ7tY.jpg

 

Finally! Something is happening. The first plane with bookings that are ok!

 

--

Back to the table of contents (Post #1)


Edited by Roddi, 14.07.2017 - 20:07.


#6 CBE

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Posted 15.07.2017 - 03:46

Take into consideration that CR1 and ATRs are no match for brand new planes with players knowing what they are doing in control of them. If you get an experienced competitor flying new planes you can either play extremely aggressively with those cheap planes and build a huge network extremely fast (and take the slots in the process) or do as your competitor and fly with high rating. Also consider that the image penalty of those small planes wont disappear that easily.  

 

For example when Indonesia on Stapleton became empty we were about 10 players taking the opportunity. The ultimate tactic in that situation was to expand extremely quickly and fly whatever cheap plane you could find on the market at 200% price. The players that played conventionally with old planes without making huge margins and having bad rating where the first to fail. The players that played with new planes getting top rating did never get bankrupt as it is impossible to crush someone who has top rating and can survive on direct passengers. Ultimately these players gave up after seeing some players get huge and taking all their slots. But if they wanted to continue it would have been impossible to crush them. I could have taken all their connections but as long as I cant beat their direct rating they would still have direct passengers (unless I heavily oversaturate the market, but this will kill me as well). If you continue to expand with ATRs while the competitors are getting A380s equally fast (which is what happened) then you need to rethink your strategy. The safest way is always to go with top rating as you will be almost untouchable. I see no need to go for props in Egypt, you can easily fill A320s there. Props are for Africa, Paraguay and the Solomon Islands anything else can easily handle jets. 

 

Also remember to know your competitors. If they have airlines on other worlds go and have a look at them and if they are active on the forums they will most likley have exposed their strategy on the forums.

 

How CBE progressed through AirlineSim / How to generally progress through AirlineSim:

 

I will write a short chapter on what I think is the best way to start in Airlinesim. 

 

As a newbie do not start in a huge mega airport with tens of competitors fighting for it. The chances of you winning that battle is inexistent if it is your first try. I suggest starting by reading the forums, reading this let´s play, reading the tutorial, watching the tutorial and asking questions. When you think you have a basic understanding then either work with an experienced player offering help or take a shoot at it alone in a smaller place (preferably 6 or 7 bars) where you wont get too much competition. There you can do your experimenting and trying out with various props and jets. Personally I went for GOT which is a medium sized airport in Sweden which I know very well in real life so I knew the geography which made it easier when not knowing how to use the tools provided. No major player cared about GOT and the smaller players where not much more experienced than what I was, so there wasn't any cut throat competition. There I grew slowly, developed and perfected my strategy, experimented, made relations and got my mentors which taught me much of the game. After you have done you trial and error, learned the game, developed a strategy and made relations you can have your first battle. For me personally it was in Malaysia after the flag carrier there had fallen. My mistake in that moment is that I played too safe. I only expanded with factory new planes (during the first weeks) but using this strategy it was impossible to take me down. Afterwards I shaped up my game and got cheaper machinery (but still under 2 years to keep my image). I managed to gain monopoly in Malaysia after 1 year. 

 

The other option which I did not take is to go under the wing of an experience player who will offer more than just mentoring. He will offer you the appropriate circumstances and the finances to learn the game. This is a different way of learning the game and I prefer learning something more independently as it allows you to develop your own strategy with inspiration from others instead of copying a strategy from someone else. A very important aspect of playing airlinesim is knowing how it works as after all airlinesim is just a game and it is very important to know how this game works.

 

A second option is also to not touch the large airports at all and continue expanding through these small airports when knowing a strategy and feeling confident. A great example of this is FROG Airways.

 

To summarise in order. Read and inquire about the game, either find somebody to help you or have a shoot at it yourself in a quieter place, learn and develop strategy and lastly test it out when you feel confident. 


User Advisory Board Member, Director of Sky Alliance on Stapleton and SKYTRAX Elite. Called ChristianPalsson ingame and Christian Pålsson since birth.


#7 Roddi

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Posted 15.07.2017 - 11:40

Thanks CBE, for putting what is happening here into some overall strategic perspective.

 

I would like to say: Trial and error, trial and error, trial and error. Out of all the airlines I started in AS I remember three of them where great, one of these being the main one I have right now (great in my feeling about it and the fun with them, not in exact numbers). Then there were five functioning ones that were ok. There were many functioning starts where I lost interest quickly anyway and there were countless failed attempts and experiments before that, in between and afterwards. If I had to guess percentages I would say maybe 5% were the real successes, 10% were ok, 20% would have worked if I had stuck to it and the rest of 65% were fails. However if something didn’t work the way I wanted it to I usually stopped the project quickly and moved on.

 

 

--

 

 

Checking for new bookings

 

L9x5PC.jpg

 

I found real connecting pax! Very nice. However, as I predicted the margin isn’t funny.

 

I think I need better planes and more routes with more demand. Trial and error to find some good destinations on which I can rely. So I looked again for CR7 and found some for under 40k, I took all five of them. New flights go to: DOH, AUH, SAW, ALG, TUN, ADA, BAH, MCT, ADB, ATH, ESB, DMM and one complete CR7 6x to SSH. Since I still have CR1 I scheduled TIP, BEN, DLM, BJV, PSD, MUH, UVL, GSQ and KGS.

 

My default fleet looks like this right now:

 

14lVOG.jpg

 

Now I will play the waiting game again.

 

I think the idea of using props is scrapped already. I’m working under competition here and they feel too slow for that to me.

 

I have to admit I’m already searching for another spot to get an airline off the ground faster. Sure this game isn’t easy and I could definitely do a better work planning for good connections. But I don’t want to. I personally prefer different outcomes in the starting phase. It feels like writing about it makes crazy experiments less easy (to break up) and raises the anxiety level a bit because of some weird selfmade pressure to not fail in front of an audience.

 

 

Later

 

4V37XX.jpg

 

That’s what a fully booked CR1 looks like. 15% is more than 11% I have to admit, but I’m pretty sure some staff related numbers have changed since then. There are a few flights that might get to profitable booking rates. I’m a little bit more relaxed right now and will wait till tomorrow (referring to today). Most flights haven’t had two of their usual three bookings yet. It’s still day two of this airline.

 

 

Until now my posts where somewhat behind on the real action. I think the next posts will show what happened last without time lag. Of course it is written, so it can’t be real time. But the moment I will post here, the shown state will be all that happened right to that moment.

 

Oh, I totally forgot something. Are you interested in the airline I’m writing about? Maybe you would like a link to it? Would be too easy you say? :D  Here is the link to Giza Air (edit: no link anymore, out of business)

 

--

back to the table of contents (post #1)


Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:51.


#8 Matth

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Posted 15.07.2017 - 11:50

I like the blog. Quite refreshing to read.

One comment to the back to back scheduling. While it gives you a better MX ratio, it will restrict you with future changes. I started to leave gaps of 10-15 minutes between arrivals and departures. If you get slot restricted at a later stage you will more easily find a flight that you can move 5-10 minutes ahead/behind to find that required slot. It also leaves the required flexibility when you upgrade a CR7 to a CSeries if you get the leads, etc.

While I'm normally also too lazy to plan for real waves, this is a working compromise without losing too much efficiency.

enterprise.png?id=41748 enterprise.png?id=320


#9 Roddi

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Posted 16.07.2017 - 10:43

@Matth: Yes, I do something like that too when the circumstances require it in my opinion. If I understand you right, you schedule regularly 10-15min more between all your flights to move them around later if for example another flight needs one specific slot? That I don’t do.

 

Right now I don’t have any plans to keep any flights for later. I won’t keep the CR1 in my fleet and I would like to use narrow bodies to most of the destinations where the CR7 are now going. I will simply delete the flights and schedule new ones when I change. The differences between the little planes and A320 for example are just too big to plan for later upgrades. All the advantages of the CR7 would vanish (short turnarounds and more flights in one day). Sometimes however I plan for later upgrades of some flights to bigger planes. Here is one example. I scheduled the flight to Beirut with the turnaround time of an A320 because in Beirut empty slots are very rare. On the CAI side I hope for enough room to get everything in I need then.

 

B9KSeW.jpg

 

 

--

link to Giza Air

 

 

Some checking and two new planes

 

Some flights have good bookings and connecting passengers, most don’t look to great, some look bad. To many to me in the wrong category. However here is a good example: The flight JED-CAI in two days is almost completely booked with connecting pax and is already sold out after one booking. This is great.

 

xzFUCU.jpg

 

ETDLwa.jpg

 

I bid on two new (I mean used but new into my fleet) CR7 to get more flights into JED and into SSH. SSH is also running well, this gives me the opportunity to change the CR1 to a CR7. Here comes a picture of the flight plan to SSH so far. With so many flights I can easily upgrade the planes. The CR7 also generates better margins and profits, so be prepared for many more of them.

 

RDbyOt.jpg

 

GWPqVE.jpg

 

jVXOqD.jpg

 

There was one curiosity. One CR1 didn’t transfer automatically, maybe because it was in 50% condition? I booked the transfer manually now (after the system send me messages for flights canceled) and it will take one and a half day to get this plane from Christchurch to Cairo. I could cancel all the next flights to keep them from getting booked so they won't raise my cancelation costs but I won’t cancel them in this case simply to watch for new connecting pax. They will all be canceled automatically the moment they are suppossed to start until the plane arrives in CAI. Every canceled flight will cost me the already booked tickets as compensation to the pax without me having received any money before.

 

So much for now, I will schedule the two CR7 when the bidding will be successful and come back with the next update later.

 

 

--

back to the table of contents (post #1)


Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:52.


#10 Roddi

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Posted 16.07.2017 - 21:45

link to Giza Air

 

???

 

Sometimes AS leaves me with an open mouth and many question marks. What’s going on here? I have absolutely no idea why suddenly out of nowhere my business class is booked too. I didn’t change anything that I know of. I put flight number 40 in before and after, so you can compare them and see that it can’t be new connections. At least not all of it. Somehow this feels weird. Don’t understand me wrong, I take those business travelers with delight. Here, see yourself.

 

xh9zvm.jpg

 

GxR7sH.jpg

 

lxhjSz.jpg

 

And the same sudden bump to LXR too. Happened something positive with my image, has this suddenly kicked in here? It is the only explanation I can think of that makes any sense to me at the moment. Unfortunately I haven’t documented the changes in my ORS rating. When I look at them right now I can’t remember they were different since I’m on this price level.

 

uOXcXh.jpg

 

 

--

back to the table of contents (post #1)


Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:52.


#11 Roddi

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Posted 17.07.2017 - 22:47

Link to Giza Air

Now we are talking - short update

 

I did my first round of controlling through the inventory pages and put some info into my excel sheet. While I was looking through that I discovered what I presented in the last post, these bumps in the bookings. Also, more importantly, I could identify some routes that work well enough for more flights on them. Especially to JED the bookings are great, flights are full after less than a day. I had four flights to JED and they were booked predominantly by connecting pax, very nice. All these connecting pax I can find on a variety of my other flights then. I scheduled new flights on CR7 to AMM, SAW, BJV, RMF, MUH, TCP and ATZ. Also, because of the nice demand to JED I added another three flights there, that makes seven now. To do all that I got four additional CR7. Of course I made sure the new flights don’t overlap with the already existing ones. That way I allow for more combinations of connections between them. Oh, and I have only one route where absolutly nobody will fly so far, Cairo to Ercan on Cyprus.

 

Now I get to the point where I have to be very careful about spending more money. I’m down to 1.5 million and I have to calculate the coming leasing rates after the first week-end closing on Wednesday. (Very helpful for that is the cash flow that the financial department is providing right under accounting.) Also I’m not completely sure how much money I will earn in the next days. More on that will follow.

 

I canceled the leasing contracts for the 10 ATR42 to make sure I don’t forget that and have to pay for them another week. Also I started retraining my obsolete ATR pilots. The way I remember this it costs less to retrain them than to fire them. I will stick to the CR7 for now and grow my fleet with these. In a few weeks all CR1 also should leave the fleet and the CR7 will become my smallest plane.

 

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Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:53.


#12 Matth

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Posted 18.07.2017 - 00:27

Make sure you double check your weekend close amount in the personnel page. It's not always updated in the cash flow and you might be in for a surprise if you calculate too tight.

enterprise.png?id=41748 enterprise.png?id=320


#13 Roddi

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Posted 19.07.2017 - 11:16

@Matth: Thank you for this hint about the salaries. I was suprised to see that.

 

 

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link to Giza Air

 

Finances

 

SpNmeE.jpg

 

How much can I spend so I won’t risk payment for leasing? I need to know when I have to pay what. The cash flow overview is perfect for that. As Matth mentioned the figure for salaries isn’t always completely accurate. In my case here it is around 16,000 short. My personnel page says 818,150. (The moment I was writing these lines and wanted to check the exact figures it had updated. Now it is correct in the cash flow overview too.)

 

I need to pay today around 830k for salaries and the one CR1. Let’s calculate with 850k. If I don’t have enough money to pay my salaries I might get a rescue loan, however I’m not sure how this works exactly. I never experimented on that. Rule of thumb: Make sure you can pay your staff. In the old times I would go bankrupt if I would’ve been 1A$ short. The hole company would be deleted. After I pay my staff I have to pay for leasing. If I don’t have the money to pay a leasing rate, the contract is canceled immediately and I lose the plane and with it all the flights in its schedule. I don’t want to risk that.

 

Because I already canceled the contracts for the ATR42 I will get the deposited money back. After I paid the 850k I will get money. In this case I’m actually good for the complete week. If I calculate for the hole week I could still spend 900k out of my bank account.

 

Now there is the second number I need to know. This one is a little bit more tricky to get and not as sure as the cash flow overview. I need to know what I’m earning daily. As you can see in the next picture I’m currently generating some profits. At least my flights are profitable and don’t produce more costs then earnings. However there are still salaries missing and I haven’t paid any leasing rates yet. It doesn’t tell me right now if my company overall is profitable. Also it won’t do after the week-end closing.

 

clS4Ds.jpg

 

There is a way to get a number for orientation of how much I’m making daily: I open every flight I have in one day and add up the profits and losses of them. I normally don’t add the number in the green frame (next picture). If I would add this number too I would get my daily profits before salaries and leasing. So I add all the numbers in the red frame and look what I get. If I calculate on that basis I have a very comfortable margin for error left.

 

FFQxqN.jpg

 

Let’s go a quick round through all my flights and do the math.

 

... 19 minutes later ...

 

S**T!

 

-126,273. Daily!

 

Where have I been with my thoughts? Have I dreamed my 4 CR7 to JED and SSH plus the one CR1 to HRG would pay for all those losses on almost all the other flights with the other 14 planes? Wow, I really ignored the fact well that I have way too many flights with way too many empty seats flying around. I said something about accounting won’t tell me if my company is profitable, even after paying the salaries? Well, obviously it can’t tell me, simply because I’m not. I’m so not profitable.

 

 

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Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:53.


#14 Roddi

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Posted 25.07.2017 - 15:06

Link to Giza Air

 

Slashing loss-making flights

 

I got through all my flights, deleted the ones that were not near profits and canceled the already booked ones. The list of destinations I stopped flying to:

international: MED, ALP, BEY, SDV, ECN, DLM, TIP, BEN, TLV, AUH, DOH, ALG, TUN, ADA, BAH, MCT, ADB, ESB, DMM

domestic: AAC, PSD, UVL, GSQ

 

I never had such a diverse net of destinations in the first week. As I scheduled the flights I knew it was a big experiment to find out if there are good routes around. However I could have acted more quickly to kill all the unprofitable routes. Now it is done. Maybe it was the right timing, maybe this experiment was needed. I wanted some time to check if there would be some connecting pax.

 

I still don’t feel comfortable here in Egypt. It feels like I lack a basic understanding of this market. The next step will be milking SSH, HRG and JED. Following that I have to figure out how I get to Europe, the tourist markets. If this won’t work, then I’ll be out. Flying to Berlin for example with a CR7? Is that possible? Performance tool: TXL - unknown airport code - what? SXF - unknown airport code - have I lost the correct IATA-codes in my head? Opening the country overview for Germany: oh, hehe, what a suprise, BER is running here. I would have never guessed that. I ran a CR7 to MCT, that’s 2767 km, BER is 2865 km. That seems ok. Europe, get ready for test flights, get ready for more experiments.

 

After five days without those money burning flights accounting now tells me I’m making money. I’m a little bit relieved. Here is the current data. Week-end closing will be tomorrow with something around 800k for salaries.

 

FWz81C.jpg

 

 

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Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:53.

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#15 taegu

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Posted 25.07.2017 - 18:05

Any possibility you can elaborate on your Excel stuff? I use it too but was interested to see what other people do

#16 Roddi

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Posted 26.07.2017 - 19:14

Link to Giza Air

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@taegu: Ok, here comes the current excel sheet with already updated inventory.

 

YIb9Zt.jpg

 

As you can see, it isn’t prepared for this thread here, it’s still in German language. Also it is a work sheet and not made for a nice presentation :-).

 

Columns A to G aren’t too interesting, I just list all the airports. The airport size is mixed between English and German, I might have copied some of them when I was logged in and some when I wasn’t. I color coded the pax demand bars.

Column J is very important. It contains the distance between the hub and all destinations I’m interested in, taken from the performance tool manually. I use these for orientation when I schedule my flights. After a while you get a feeling of how much you can schedule before you run out of maintenance.

Column K contains the plane types I use on a route.

Column L is a little helper to mark some airports for easy filtering.

Columns M and N show the last update of load factors for the economy class outbound (M) and inbound (N), taken from the inventory manually and automatically color coded so I can see easily where I could strengthen my presence.

Column O shows me how many new flights I scheduled last or what destinations I want to schedule next.

Column P shows the number of daily flights I currently run.

Column Q shows the times I fly (rounded) so I can easily see when I might schedule new flights. I don’t want 4 flights at 11,12,13 and 14 and nothing else in the day. Also there are other notes in there, for example “vvb” for ground connection, “nv” for nighttime ban or “320r/788r” for 320/788-ready turnaround times already scheduled. (Why would I take slots in LHR only an hour apart, I will prepare there for bigger planes right away.) SSH and HRG show me how I scheduled the planes to my high frequency destinations (It reads for HRG: 6x per plane, 2 flights right after each other every 8 hours, plane schedules starting at 00:00 and 04:00.). In the head of this column I have rule of thumb numbers how far an A320 can fly over one day when I schedule a certain amount of destinations. Obviously these numbers were meant for SVX and not for CAI, but they give some orientiation. (5x2700 means I can schedule 5 destinations that are all together up to 2700km away, so the plane will fly maximally around 5400km that day. Of course it is less when I fly to mega airports.)

 

That’s the stuff I need when I’m scheduling flights. I built this framework to my needs over my “career”. It’s never perfect. The different servers might have different airport details. For example Meigs has BER up and running. My sheet still runs with TXL and SXF. You can also see on the left side I have only 2881 airports included, I think Latin America, Canada and Oceania are still missing.

 

These excel sheets are half of my airlinesim experience. I never play without them. I might check some things or just look around, but I never do scheduling work without them. AS provides some very helpful tools, but for me the most important tool is my excel sheet. You can see here only the one hub sheet. Of course I sometimes keep other information. This for example might be some tracking of competitors and their performance over the weeks.

 

 

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Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:53.


#17 Roddi

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Posted 28.07.2017 - 21:51

Link to Giza Air

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Weekend closing and first tests to Europe

 

Just for you to see my financial stuff. I’m glad I made money last week instead of losing over 120k per day.

 

NoF4ji.jpg

 

The following picture shows what half of my fleet looks like, plenty of room in some schedules. I consider losing all the CR1, so I won’t schedule new flights into them and instead schedule their flights onto CR7 when I schedule more of those. Two CR1 already left the fleet.

 

4yTkyv.jpg

 

From there on I scheduled 6 new flights to HRG on CR7 and deleted 6 flights on CR1. One more CR1 to cancel the leasing contract. Some other flights got switched around then. That way another two CR1 got cleared. Following this, I started some new experiments. They include GVA, BER, CGN, DUS, HAM. Pretty easy slot situation there, only BER was a little bit tight to schedule. Also I bid on an A320. With 12 daily flights between CAI and SSH I don’t want more CR7 there. It’s time to try some real planes. The same goes for JED with 7 daily flights.

 

The story continues.

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Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:53.


#18 Roddi

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Posted 31.07.2017 - 23:06

Link to Giza Air

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New tests needed, first A320 and some frustration

 

I totally forgot about the possibility to get CR9 or CRK, I could fly them from CAI to the bigger airports, just forgot they existed and could’ve given me this opportunity. Now I ordered an A320, maybe a CRK would’ve been more clever. We’ll see. I could have gotten almost two CRK for the money I needed for the A320, that would’ve given me more options. Well, the good ideas sometimes come too late.

 

EM9ma6.jpg

 

This experiment had to be scraped immediately. GVA, BER, CGN, DUS and HAM don’t work good enough. I deleted those flights and canceled all of them again. Next tests: bigger airports (I need bigger planes for that, at least CRK to fly to 10 bars) or different markets like France and the UK, maybe Russia. It might be a good idea to try some East African capitals too.

Sure, I only had one day of bookings on those flights, but it won’t become much more than three times that. Three times 4 is still only 12.

 

I scheduled the A320 to JED 3x a day. Also I got better seats in there than I have in the CR7. The following picture shows the difference in the ORS (I cut those snippets together).

 

QpJOxU.jpg

 

Now I’m thinking about changing the seats in my CR7 too. That would be Comfort in economy and Recliner Longhaul in Business. My margin would suffer, however I might get a better basic rating to work under competition. Especially for connections this might be very important. Maybe I even get those flights to Europe or to the gulf region working then?

 

... one day later ...

 

The A320 to JED is getting good bookings. I have to wait a few more days to see how this affects the CR7 flights already in place.

 

Also I changed the seats in those two CR7 that are running tests. They fly to BRU, STN, ADD and KRT now. I scheduled them roughly so they can connect to each other. BRU and STN fly out and in more or less together. Then ADD and KRT fly out together after BRU and STN arrived and come back right before STN and BRU depart again.

 

You can see, I’m getting desperate here, I schedule for a rough wave already, what I usually don’t want to do. CAI is driving me a bit crazy. 8 bars demand and I don’t find the right routes. If I wouldn’t write about it I would’ve already scrapped the operation here ;-). On the other hand this situation exactly is one of the things why I wanted to write about it. I wanted to show whatever happens. I told myself before the start I would show it if this would fail. I wanted to show the process of playing AS. Here it is. I’m a bit frustrated because it isn’t going as fast as I would like it to. Also I seriously thought it would be easier to build something up here.

 

The next thing I want is a CRK, so I can test the biggest airports. I have to wait for the weekend closing tomorrow. One of the problems with starting at a big airport is you can’t fly little stuff to the important destinations.

 

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Edited by Roddi, 16.08.2017 - 11:54.


#19 Roddi

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Posted 16.08.2017 - 11:47

Deleted

 

013001weekendclosing2x.jpg

 

Here is the last screenshot of Giza Air with the last two weekend closings.

 

Despite that I just deleted Giza Air together with its holding. You might have noticed two weeks without posts. I complained almost from the beginning. I couldn’t find the right amount of fun for me here in CAI. Sure, the airline worked medium well and it would have been a basis for more growth with some work, patience and endurance. Because it couldn’t create enough fun for me as a secondary project I now deleted it.

 

Good bye Giza Air! I don’t think I’ll miss you!

 

New adventures coming soon :) , I already spotted another underserved market I've never tried before (as far as I can remember).

 

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#20 Ronaldo

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Posted 17.08.2017 - 21:58

Welcome back, Roddi! ;-)






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