I’m a new CEO (hehehe), and I have no found a way to make market prospection of any kind.
It would be great if we had this tool too!
It could make market prospection by the following ways:
By route and departure time;
By competition (less flyed routes)
It should cost AS$, as in the real world it really costs money to an enterprise to do that, as well as it should take some time to do that (like 2 weeks or less, depending on the ammount of the investment).
Such a tool would have no effect here in AS … of course there is a specific demand between A and B, but maybe there is an airline with hub at C and most of the passengers use routes via his hub, because he offers the best connection from A to B. So even if there is a tool that show you the demand, it would be no guarantee for a fully booked plane.
I think it is unrealistic without some kind of market research.
I’m sorry for my bad english, I may not say the things as I really would like to, but is the real life, ailines do make market research, or use/buy some kind of information about new operations.
As a CEO, i’d agree with Giraffe355: I’d make some investment in market research to make sure I can get the best from my airplanes than make random (or almost random) choices about new routes and schedulling. At the end, I’m renting or paying for an aircraft, doing maintainance and burning fuel: not only this is a cost for my airline, as It’s a spending of resources without gaining anything from it… Much better doing the research.
Again, this would not work in AS … of course there is a specific demand between A and B, and a prospection would give you a hint about the demand between those airports, but this would not be a guarantee for fully booked flights. AS is to complex. Passengers could also book a route from A to B via C. A market prospection would be useless then … as they are in RL in most cases.
Why would it have to show exactly what you say? Why wouldn’t this feature be just like booking flights, but instead of spending time and money by booking them on your aircraft, just spending money on a fee (which shouldn’t be too cheap) and getting to see the number of pax that would use your flights? So basically, everything would be taken into account; you would select which aircraft you would use, service, price, etc., and other factors like connections would also be taken into account.
Even better, you could, for example, be able to choose how extensive market research would be. So, if you only want to see demand between A and B (without connections, your service level, etc.), you could, and you would pay only a small fee. If you want market research to take everything into account (just like if you booked those flights) you would have to pay more.
It would be very, very helpful, especially for new ventures.
But that would be impossible, because you have to simulate all traffics of all airports and this would last several HOURS per ONE request. And to be honest - many people do believe the airlines know where to open a new route. But they don’t exactly. They can do, what you can do also - trust in histroric relationships, languages, special economic issues like large economic centers. But that’s all.
In real airlines they use “risk management” which is to say before buying new aircraft or opening new routes they do in depth research into the costs and benefits of these new routes/ new aircraft. That said half the fun of AS is the trial and error, booking and canceling of new routes. Infact as AS uses r/l if slightly outdated info, I just look on the website of my hub airport to see what destinations are offered by the carriers there. Sometimes you’d be surprised what routes will be successful.
You can never know exactly what route would be good and which not.
Even with Marketing research you would find out something like: There are 2000 people that wish to fly between New York and Frankfurt. However it won’t tell you if these people will fly with you as there already might be a direct route between New York and Frankfurt and there will be at least dozen of connections through Munich, Milan, rome, Paris, London etc. etc. etc. Computer will never know how you will set up your flight and if you will take the share.
You can do your own market research that will work like this - don’t be lazy and invest your time if you wish. I do it, and it works. Or you can just use common sence
The only way for these to work is a publish document like the US DOT publishes (T100 stats). It is a static document that would tell you how many O/D passenger between city pairs.
Then it is up to you to figure out ORS about current service and see if you can create connection to points beyond. It might only be helpful for start ups and point to point airlines because after you create a connecting hub then it data might become meaningless unless you like to play with stats.
I do agree we shouldn’t be lazy and do the research ourselves, but we are only one (in my case, I’m the CEO, the manager, the financial director, the operations director, among other positions ). In a real airline, we have a team of directors, advisors and others who do work to make the company grow. In AS, this team is the tools we have to help us, like the tool I suggested, among others that already exist. I’m simulating an airline, but I can’t dedicate my entire time doing this. I do work and study everyday (including weekends), and it’s difficult to me to have plenty of time to do these kind of things.
Otherwise, I think we would need to have a airline in AS where a lot of people do work in, each one doing his (or her) part of the job
You are not the only one working and studying at the same time.
Second you probably have no idea what setting up a new route in real life looks like. Most of "work" you refer to is paperwork, calling and dealing with the airports, flight prices, setting up tickets and offices, scheduling airplanes, signing contracts, dealing with unions, dealing with passenger requests, baggage handling, check-in procedures and so on. None of that is in the game or are set up by a click of the mouse. There is no "team reasearch work" that would go around telling Emirates or Air France: "Ok, if you open this route, you will get so much demand for something" or "350 people in Prague wants to fly to Dubai". There is nobody saying how many people are waiting on the airport for some flights. Peple travel to airports far away to fly where they want and airlines rarely have an oportunity to at least guess acurately what route would be good until they try it (that is why there is so much flux in flights - routes appearing and being canceled). Real life statistics do exist as IATA publishes how many travelers with whom went where but really no real tools are availible as you have no idea where those people came from, if they are real travelers or just one time guys. Do they live there or they just traveled across Europe? Will the next season be rainy so people won’t fly? Not to mention the route strategy department is in charge of countering the demand flux which is missing in the game at all.
Not to mention you all say: "We want tools to know the demand". Why? How will that do you any good?
Example: There is Stockholm Helsinky route. Let’s say there is 1000 people who daily travel there. What good will this number do to you? There is already 3x the capacity and you have no idea how much you will get from it and the game has no way to show you how much of that is connecting and how much point to point traffic. It is too complex. Now count connecting traffic - you serve 70 airports. Each one has demand to each of the places in the world. How will the system show you where these people will go? You will do it point to point? How will you use this when you are unable to check the connecting destinations?
Players who has been here for some time eventualy figures out that the system is so incredibly complex that it’s not possible to deal with things as route demand. I specificaly know of other simulations that show you demand and make the game really easy for everyone (the the point where it becomes ridiculous) however they have no connecting traffic. If you do hub things statistics between airports loose sence as you can gather one pax from each place and generate a route efficiency even on hub-hub route that has no demand at all . Not to mention you have no way to force people to use your planes on routes you want to, they will book and fly wherever the system sends them.
if you doubt that a new route will be profitable, test it out with a plane you already have… just remove the flights of one day (half a day, whatever) and schedule one test flight to the new destination. Then keep an eye on the bookings…
If that flight is fully booked in one or two days, bingo !
If the flight only has few passengers after two days, cancel the flight.
And after the test, you put the original flight back in the schedule.