Apologies in advance - I'm sure that all these questions have been asked before, somewhere. Despite some searching, however, I'm coming up short on the answers. I'd appreciate any advice.
A quick overview of how badly I've managed to maul things thus far:
- I've set up in Vanuatu, opened a couple of offices, planned some routes, and generally figured out the controls (kinda).
- My current fleet (most of it still being delivered) is as follows: 1 Antonov 148-100E, 2 ATR 72-600s, and 2 LET 410s.
- The original plan, such as it was, was to use the 410s to run domestic routes to the main hub of Port Vila. I've no idea of frequency of passengers or the like, so I set the 410s up to make as many flights to the outlying airports as possible daily. The planes weren't (and still aren't) on site yet, but I figured I could get an idea of bookings and create a more efficient schedule based on those numbers for when they actually service those routes. I've recently learned that you pay cancellation fees, but the numbers are so small that this probably isn't an issue?
- The ATRs were then to service the regional centres nearby, again using the same idea as the 410s. Offering bookings for flights which I knew couldn't exist, cancelling them once the bookings had leveled off for a few days, and then firming up a proper schedule thereafter.
- The Antonov was to service some medium-haul destinations in Australia and Papua New Guinea. I had planned on a similar approach with this, but unfortunately it arrived a little early so it's now servicing some of the routes I had originally just planned to get an idea of numbers (so it's a big aircraft with, like, 5 people on it currently.
- So, now having a better idea of the numbers I'm beginning to think that the Antonov and ATRs are overkill, and I might be better served with the Embraer 135LR. Even if it has to run at reduced capacity on the longer flights, it doesn't appear that the numbers are going to be high enough for that to factor.
Anyway, so that's where things currently stand, and I have a few questions:
The bookings system is a little opaque to me at the moment. I follow that the demand of the airport has something to do with it, and I know that calculations are made per airport at the assigned time. What I'm not certain on is if, when that calculation is made, does it rule out any further bookings to flights already assigned passengers from that airport, or are more bookings made every time the assigned time on that airport comes around? In other words, if 5 people book on flight A from airport A at the time airport A makes its calculations, but another calculation is due for the airport prior to the departure of flight A will more people be added to flight A?
If leased planes are currently being transferred to my hub, can I cancel the contract without issue and immediately seek different planes?
Is there some precondition which must be set before prices can be adjusted? I've tried, almost entirely without success, to alter the prices on some of my routes. So far, only one such change has stuck and I can't figure out how, or why.
What does a reset do, exactly? Is it a complete wipe and you basically start over, or does it sell everything and whatever is left-over is what you get?
At what point is it considered normal/appropriate/the done thing to reset?
Is it possible to make a profitable airline in a place like Vanuatu? I was given advice when starting out to aim for a place where no other airline had set up, and so get a hold on the domestic market. It wasn't until after a bit that I realized the low demand in Vanuata might make development impossible.
Any other thoughts, tips, advice and so on would be appreciated.