Aircraft Age vs. Price vs. Popularity

Hello, everyone!

I recently deleted my account on the Aspern server for multiple reasons, however, the point is that now I have started anew on the Pearls server and have found my niche in the under-served Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport. I started off by investing all of my starting money in a fleet of four brand new Embraer 190s and four Embraer 170s, all less than .8 years old. I decided that new was better. However, then I began investigating as I thought about what aircraft to buy in the future. Airbus A330-300Xs seemed like a good choice, but were a little pricey. Boeing 747s seemed good, but I wasn't quite sure. Then I looked at the MD-11. It hasn't been in production since 1998, but it had 5 popularity bars and was less than a 900,000 AS$ security deposit. The only thing was 30.1 years old. Well, what I'm trying to ask is, when you're a penny-pincher like me, how do you choose? Is age more important than popularity? Is it better to save for a long time to get something new? What are your thoughts?



The aircraft age only affects your airline's image, so it's not going to necessarily affect your bottom line except in the matter of the reduced image impacting your ORS. It depends on what kind of seat load factors you'd get at this airport.

There are two issues that come along with using older aircraft like the MD-11. First is the increased cost of maintenance. The older a plane is, the higher the cost of the maintenance. It also takes longer in maintenance for it to be flight-ready again. This most definitely will effect your bottom line, and will be readily apparent on your flight data reports. I'd suggest checking out the aircraft evaluation tool with some of the routes you are planning.

Second is the fact you'd be using planes that aren't in production anymore. There's a finite amount that can be had, server-wide. If your airline is successful, and you want to get more, there might come a point where you simply can't.


It also takes longer in maintenance for it to be flight-ready again.

This is not correct, only the maintenance costs increase with age. Otherwise you would have to replan your aircraft sometimes as they get older.

And one more thing, the aircraft you mentioned are longhaul aircraft. Even if they are relatively cheap you still have to fill them to generate profit. And to fill a airplane like a MD11 you need many connecting passengers. The optimum size of your first aircraft is dependent on the market you are operating in, but I for most markets a airplane size between Dash 8-Q400 and B737/A320 should be okay, but anything bigger wont help you much when your airline is still small...

Are you sure? I thought a 30 year old plane loses more maintenance points than, say, a 5 year old plane on the same flight. I had thought I read it on the forums before, but I could easily be wrong.

And your other point is correct. MD-11 is not really something to use when you first start up. An MD-90, though...