Anyone ever tried....

....to create a low-fare Airline with only bought planes? I've tried with a test airline and it did not work out at all. My inspiration was a UK based low fare airline out of LGW. I decided to buy 2 737-500BGW at 4 million each on cash to avoid leasing costs and provide better ticket prices. Just as the real life example I disabled network to save expenses for staff and used standard seating (full load 132 seats in this case).

I was able to use ticket prices roughly 50% of the competition prices and would only break-even on the flight if it was 100% loaded. I figured when there is high demand I could adjust prices. To make sure there would be point-to-point traffic I offered flights only to major airports that are also served in real life such as AMS, MXP,CPH, etc...

The outcome was this:

It was impossible to operate this business model despite having better product rating in the ORS. Not only were my planes almost empty, the maintenance costs associated with the older planes are killing the flight. It seems to me the one and only possible way to operate an airline is to go for the hub system with eco seats at least and leasing. Is there even point-to-point demand and if so are the passengers price sensitive at all?

Has anyone ever tried this business model successfully in airlinesim? Maybe I missed something?

Another thought I had:

Wouldn't it be cool to go a completely different way in starting your airline? My thoughts were, you'd be given between 50-100 million but you'd only be allowed to buy planes on cash or through loan instead of leasing. Using a loan would not be attractive since the intrest + installment will be more expensive than leasing initially and would therfore be no advantage, causing only higher ticket prices. I thought this might give existing airlines a push to buy planes to compete with lower prices of the competition.

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Cheers.

My experience is, that airlinesim is not designed to support low cost carriers. The reason for this is the setup of the ORS. In game you can have a maximum rating of 100, which can be accomplished in multiple ways, by a combination of pricing, service and image. Flights that have a rating of 100 can not improve their ranking even if they provide lower prices. So for instance a flight MUC-TXL for 200 and a rating of 100 is handled the same like one for 70 and a rating 100.

The other thing is that AS at this point has no way of simulating various other LCC revenue streams. A LCC is only succesful because of other sources of income rather than just ticket sales....

- Hold baggage charge

- Food/drinks for sale on board

- Duty free sales

- Local subsidies

etc. etc.

I have tried once too, but I wouldn't recommend it! The problem is, to able to buy planes at the beginning, they have to be cheap... To be cheap they need to be old, which in turn means higher maintenance costs and lower image. So it is possible, but I don't recommend it!

Nolan

Or y'know, just buy a fleet of Q100a/b's and create hundreds of connecting routes with no competition, mantenance will be lower due to being turbo-props, and you could fly to popular routes multiple times and achieve a profit due to having low seating 20-30 people so nearly always full flights. ;)

Or y'know, just buy a fleet of Q100a/b's and create hundreds of connecting routes with no competition, mantenance will be lower due to being turbo-props, and you could fly to popular routes multiple times and achieve a profit due to having low seating 20-30 people so nearly always full flights. ;)

I might try this one later but I wanted to see if you could operate point to point as a low cost carrier. Short answer: nope.

Comfort also seems to be preferred over price, so also no flexibility in the seating configurations. Minimum is always Eco as it seems.

Has anyone out there had a successful LCC-concept airline?

I am not aware of a typical LCC airline here at AS because you don´t have the tools to do that. However one of the reasons to maintain a subsidiary alongside my mainline Sparrow Air is the aim to operate flights at lower costs with more appropriate aircraft compared to Sparrow Air. These regional feeders are working hard to do their missions with a minimum of costs.

It would be nice to have more tools for a LCC-style: Take the 156-seat A319, catering for sale, contracts with airports and provinces to save and to get money, charging every passenger for baggage and so on. Employees and pilots outsourced and paid that bad that they even pay money to get enough hours in my A319s which will be abused with 16 hours per day of flying ;) .

I am not aware of a typical LCC airline here at AS because you don´t have the tools to do that. However one of the reasons to maintain a subsidiary alongside my mainline Sparrow Air is the aim to operate flights at lower costs with more appropriate aircraft compared to Sparrow Air. These regional feeders are working hard to do their missions with a minimum of costs.

It would be nice to have more tools for a LCC-style: Take the 156-seat A319, catering for sale, contracts with airports and provinces to save and to get money, charging every passenger for baggage and so on. Employees and pilots outsourced and paid that bad that they even pay money to get enough hours in my A319s which will be abused with 16 hours per day of flying ;) .

How much experience do you have with standard seats? I always get the feeling Eco is minimum and you will fail when competition comes in even with higher prices.

Regarding my main company Sparrow Air: The majority of my planes offer “Economy” in Economy Class. My A319s are the only ones with “Standard” because I schedule them with to many seats - 126. Some long haul Boeing 757s offer “EcoPlus”.

Some regional feeder-aircraft only offer “Standard” in Economy and the Fokker 100s (at Sparrow Express) all have “Standard” because I want to squeeze 100 seats into these planes. The comfort is not higher compared to 109 seats but all flighst can beoperated by two flight attendants only. Most routes flown by the Fokker 100s are short durations and thus it is OK for the passengers. I would encounter problems to use the 100-seat Fokker 100 on longer routes of more than two hours and/or  in markets with high competition.

Despite competition, my BAe 146-300s at Sparrow Connection are operated with “Standard” in Economy (90 seats) and a more comfortable section for 20 guests who pay a Business Class-fare. It is my solution to schedule a 110-seat BAe 146-300 as efficient as possible and to spread the costs to more passengers because of higher fuel burn and maintenance-costs. I also ensure passengers that at least three engines remain operational after landing because of lack of reliability :ph34r:  :blush:  ;) .

IMO it is not that easy to offer “Standard” in Economy in highly competitive markets. It took much time until I´ve found my “perfect solution”. For example I had my share of problems with my A320s at Sparrow Air an dtheir configurations. The current one fits best into my needs and the demands of the markets: 144 seats, 16 Business (EcoPlus) and 128 Tourist Class (Economy). This layout ensures an acceptable level of comfort and my demand to operate the A320 as an “150-seater” as marketed by Airbus.

I may be not the best example because I tend to squeeze more passengers into my planes compared to competitors here on AS because I want to simulate realistic configurations. I think that the scheduling of a 189-seat 737-800 between Jakarta and Cairns won´t be accepeted by the passengers, regardless of low fares :unsure: .

Regards

Thanks for your answer. I just realized I have to be more flexible with the configurations. I currently started in the US after having an airline in Venezuela on another server, however I didn't feel I could expand much there. It just so happend that I found a big empty airport in the US and managed to have 3 HUB waves strictly connected and ending up between 100-200% maintenance ratio. I realized (somehow by reading your post, so thanks) is that when I serve an airport 3x daily I can configure the plane for this connection only. I now will use standard seats where I have a monopoly and high demand until I get competition or passengers dont accept it.

If only I would not have to scrap all the seats whenever I change the configuration...

Cheers

You´re welcome. I think that flexibility is the key in several areas to size and shape your business. It really depends on your strategy which configuration could work fine. Just in example: My A321s are all configured to seat 182 seats – 20 Business and 162 Economy. This configuration works for all my routes served by the A321s e.g. Jakarta – Palembang (a rather short domestic flight), on key domestic routes with a longer duration like Jakarta to Ujung Pandang (a little more than 2 hours) and… on a very long flight from Jakarta to Sydney (nearly seven hours!). This works for my company but this does not automatically mean that such a configuration works in your country etc...

It also depends in the scheduling of a particular aircraft. Some of my aircraft are scheduled to fly to different airports from my hub throughout the day while another aeroplane only flies between my hub and one city back and forth. A tight seating is OK for the “shuttle” but could be negative for some of the longer legs.

Every region, every country is different and your business-strategy is always individual. The size of your company, the competition, the demand, connecting traffic, your fares, your inflight-service – all these factors have an impact on your load-factors. It is a very good philosophy to look at different countries and to make several attempts. I selected a capacity of 182 seats to reflect a realistic arrangement in an A321 while at the same time the comfort is good enough and the difference between the payload of 182 pax and 220 pax is high enough to stretch the missions of some A321-flighst even further without payload-penalties.

Regards

I might try this one later but I wanted to see if you could operate point to point as a low cost carrier. Short answer: nope.

It has occurred to me that it might be possible (in theory, at least) for one to have a chance at a successful LCC-like airline if he or she was able to plan it right and could establish the right IL partners at certain end points. I am sure that this would be very complicated and difficult to achieve. Has anyone tried anything even remotely like this?

EDIT: it has occurred to me a that the very IL partners required would quite likely be your competition, thus making this idea less feasible.