A dense seating experiment

Hello all,

I’m experimenting with dense seating configurations on Yeager III with an airline called Jet9 (J9). The goal is to build a successful hub airline using just three aircraft types and a super-dense seating configuration. I will only use the Q400, the Embraer E195-E2 series, and the Boeing 787-8.

Q400 BASIC
12 Recliner Shorthaul
68 Slimline HD

Embraer E195-E2
16 Recliner Shorthaul
112 Slimline HD

Boeing 787-8
35 Lie-Flat 140
288 Slimline HD

I will initially operate regional routes at Pittsburgh (PIT), a seven passenger bar, 11 slot airport with a 01:15 hour transfer time.

Here’s why I’m curious about this process:

I’ve played AirlineSim for seven years now, and the recent patch discouraging ridiculous premium aircraft configurations has made this experiment a possibility.

Dense configurations have worked on my previous airlines, usually because of good connections and interlining. I configured all my mainline narrowbody aircraft (plus larger Embraer and Bombardier jets) with Slimline HD seats on Yeager II’s “Air Velocity”, which helped my airline finish with the most passengers on the server. With “GoCalifornia” on Otto IV, Slimline HD seats helped me finish with the largest airline at Los Angeles (LAX) with about 8,000 weekly departures, even though I started a month after the server began.

However, I started these airlines with Leisure Plus economy seating and Lie-Flat 140 or Recliner Long Haul business seating. After building good interlining agreements and large hub waves, I then switched configurations to Slimline HD economy seating and Recliner Short Haul business seating.

I’m hoping this experiment sheds light on dense configurations and helps the community realize the potential of “tight seating.” Please PM me if I can help with any questions. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out!

Cheers,
JustPlaneBad

3 Likes

Thank you for this post - a very interesting experiment !

I continue to hope that the developer works on this sort of thing - to make a bit more realism in terms of layout.

I wish you nothing but success with this endeavor!

Happy Flying

Any update here, how is is working out?

Experiment 1 has failed. The airline failed to generate profit.

At default prices for seats, here are my lessons learned.

  1. Not enough point-to-point demand out of Pittsburgh.
  2. DH4 aircraft have too low of a passenger rating. They did not fill well.
  3. High-demand routes using E195 E2 aircraft filled well.
  4. Business class filled well.

Experiment 2

Background:
In this experiment, I started with densely configured A330-300R and A320-200 aircraft operating out of San Francisco. This airport is a perfect hub for Hawaii flights going westbound and East Coast transcontinental flights going eastbound. It also has high demand for Long Haul Asia flights.

Reasoning:
Because of the Slimline HD seats in the A330, I can seat 9-across passengers, allowing me to maximize cabin usage. I am also using the cheapest possible A320 aircraft for shorter runways that the A330-300R cannot service. The goal is to maximize profit margin on high-demand short haul and medium haul routes within the United States. At first, I will only use the A320-200, the A321-200, and the A330-300R. The A321 and A320 share the same maintenance category, but are produced in two different locations (XFW and TLS respectively), allowing me more planes per day than the 737. These aircraft also have faster turnaround time.

General Information:
Yeager III
Jet9 (J9)
San Francisco (SFO): 9 bar passenger demand, 11 slots, 1:30 transfer time)
Higher and Wire Corp

Current Fleet:
A330-300R
49 Recliner Long Haul with 3 extra inches of pitch.
351 Slimline HD

A321-200 standard
30 Recliner Long Haul with 3 extra inches of pitch.
168 Slimline HD

A320-200 light
25 Recliner Long Haul with 3 extra inches of pitch.
132 Slimline HD

Possible additions to future fleet:
Boeing 787-8
42 Lie-Flat 140
252 Standard

E195 E2
20 Recliner Short Haul with 4 extra inches of pitch.
104 Slimline HD

Current routes from SFO:
Honolulu (HNL), A330 daily.
Kahului (OGG), A320 daily.
Seattle/Tacoma (SEA), A330 daily.
Denver (DEN), A320 daily.

Financials:
Week 1, 51% profit margin, 99.8% load factor.

Next Steps:
Order an A320-200 for SFO-LIH and SFO-YVR.

1 Like

Sweet !

Nice profits !

1 Like

Very interesting to follow. Especially your ability to fill an 330 with SLIM HD :slight_smile:

2 Likes

It’s totally doable with the new ORS.

The problem is, you have to be careful not to be eaten up by competitors. 51% margin in the first week is not impressive (since you don’t pay any leases). If you want to be really successful you need to grow quick - especially in very competitive markets (like USA). You should aim that margin from week 2 onwards. But it’s doable.

Hello!

Jet9 recently ordered another A320-200, bringing the total fleet to 5 aircraft, including our A330-300R. We are looking to add another A320-200 to the fleet in the upcoming weeks for the San Francisco (SFO) to Kahului (OGG) route and the San Francisco (SFO) to New York Kennedy (JFK) route.

Current routes from SFO.
Honolulu (HNL), A330 x7.
Seattle/Tacoma (SEA), A330 x7.
Kahului (OGG), A320 x7; to be upgraded to A321.
Lihue (LIH), A320 x7.
Denver (DEN), A320 x7.
Vancouver (YVR), A320 x7.
New York Kennedy (JFK), A320 daily; to be upgraded to A321.
Phoenix (PHX), A320 x7.

Profit margin has increased to 61%.

Just a side note, I had a fun time competing against you with “WesternJet” in Yeager II :slight_smile:

1 Like

Jet9 has grown significantly!

Some updates:

  1. We have added the A321-200 standard to the fleet. In dense configurations, the A321-200 standard has a higher MTOW than the A321neo light. This allows us to carry more cargo per flight. The A321-200 also has transcontinental range.

  2. We added the Embraer E195-E2. This is an interesting aircraft because it seats fewer passengers than the A220-300 and still maintains the same cost-to-seat efficiency. The E195-E2 can also service 10 bar airports from other 10 bar airports. With the new ORS reducing some short haul profitability, this allows Jet9 to keep short haul flights full and profitable. The E195-E2 has very short take-off and landing runs. We can serve airports like Santa Ana (SNA) and Burbank (BUR) that have short runways. Finally, the E195-E2 has transcontinental range.

  3. We added used Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 aircraft. We are unlikely to keep these aircraft for long-term usage, but they are good capacity-increasers for low-demand short haul flights to secondary and tertiary cities.

  4. Load factors are high. 98.46%.

  5. Our Slimline HD configurations are very successful. A fully-loaded SFO-HNL flight on a A321-200 or A330-300R yields profit margins of approximately 69%.

  6. Recliner Long Haul with 3 extra inches of pitch seems to suffice for business class passengers.

  7. Long haul flights using Slimline HD seats remain a possibility. Slimline HD seat ratings remain at -2 bars until approximately 9,500 km and start at -2 bars at 2,500 km. Since Jet9’s transcontinental flights exceed 2,500 km, we are interested in flying densely-configured A330-900 jets on sub-9,500 km flights to Asia and Europe.

Thanks for the update