Well, your image will only improve over time if your service an other factors are good. On board service is important, my short haul profile gives me a 4-green rating in economy for flights from 0-1500km and contributes to positive ratings of my commuter operations.
In the end the overall picture counts, so your onboard service is an important part, while the price and seats are very important as well. As far as I have observed so far the terminals are not a major factor.
the image rating on the product factor sheet is the overall image rating of your airline.
The image rating of your airline is the average of the image ratings of all your individual flights. Below the product factors of a flight, you can see the image factors of that flight. Young planes, popular aircraft types, extra flight attendants and a good staff mood will give your flight a high image rating. Forget about seat space… you have to remove half of your seats to get one extra green bar. And the aircraft condition goes up and down with the technical condition of your plane. Not much you can do about that, unless you want to schedule a two hour maintenance break between after every flight.
I don’t know the weight of the overall airline image in the basket of product factors. I have two airlines, one has an image rating of 3 green bars, the other has 4 green bars. If and when the ORS ever gets fixed, I shall check similar flights of the two airlines to see if that one extra green bar makes a difference.
A few more questions, is it worth upgrading all my seats to EcoPlus just to get that max rating on "seats"? or is it not worth the investment, I personally value SLF a lot more than how much I earn per seats
and it seems like all the turboprop aircraft have a 3 bar rating, doesn’t that means in order to move to a 4 ba[font=“Arial”]r aircraft type rating I have to take out all my Dashes and change it to something else? but than that makes my operation extremely risky[/font]
[font="Arial"]SInce my SLF has dropped to 79% instead of 85% which is what I got regularly[/font]
what really counts is the value for money => ORS rating. A high ORS rating means that you will get a higher percentage of the bookings on a given route. In order to raise your rating, you can either improve the quality or lower your prices. If you refurbish a plane with better seats, and raise the price of your tickets too much, you may end up with the same (or even lower) ORS rating.
On routes with heavy competition, a good rating is vital to get a good share of the passengers. If you enter a route in the ORS, it will show you the flights on that route and their rating. Ratings are shown as green bars, but if you hover your mouse over the green bars, you will get a little pop-up with the exact figure. If the ORS does not work on your server, use the flight information page. It gives you the "price performance ratio". It is not as acccurate as the ORS, but 5 green bars mean your rating is between 80 and 100. If you have less than 5 green bars, I suggest to improve your service (better seats, better on-board service) or to lower your prices.
I agree with you on the seat load factor. A high profit per seat means nothing if your plane flies half empty.
If you fly competitive routes, you may indeed consider to replace your Dashes by (regional) jets. Your profit margin may drop, but your flights will be more competitive. I use a mix of bigger jets with better profit margins and regional jets that provide less profit but work as feeders.
It is not because their tickets are expensive that they make a huge profit. At least not necessarily. If they (for example) use ecoplus seats, they only use 60% of the standard seating capacity of the plane… On the other hand, excellent seats allow higher prices.
You will have to offer better on-board service, better seats, or cheaper tickets to get a better rating.
Mind you… with some planes it is almost impossible to get a high rating and to make a profit. Plus, your competitors may have a better network and more transfer passengers. Transfer passengers can fill a plane that would otherwise fly half empty… even with a rating of 100.
Try a wave structure, so every flight is a feeder for another flight. With a small fleet, I think this will be crucial.
Don’t replace any aircraft - the dash 8 is a splendid aircraft for large and small airlines - I have 130 the cost is replacing is also very high (severance pay, loss of equipment etc).
I have always held the belief that initially, a small airline should concentrate on heavy demand routes that they can fill up and make a good margin on. Then slowly start expanding your destinations. For me, this was Karachi Kuwait and muscat from Dubai. Around 80% of my flights were to these destinations. Then I started London using 737-900er aircraft. These routes still act as my most frequent and most profitable routes today. So find your key destinations, and stick to serving them.
Jan has previously mentioned about serving good food and adjusting price (amongst other thing) so the only thing left to add is when saving a seat configuration, make sure you select the max possible number of stewards/stewardesses. The cost of this is extremely small per flight, and will hopefully give you those additional bookings (make sure you pay your staff well!)
thanks for the reply, I start out from high demand domestic routes which always fills up instantly, then I started flights to Beijing, Tokyo, and Taipei, interestingly some of the routes are often half empty until recently that my connections expended and more interlining contract has sign
I sure will add more flights to my heavy demand routes, but unsure should I wait till I can lease another A320 or just lease the Dash8 right now.
the addition of A320 to my route was a significant increase in profit margin, since I can now carry 140 people rather than 56, I got a new record for my profit margin, 35%
btw where do you guys get the stat bar on you signature area from? I really want to get one
yes, look at your margins - and get the aircraft that gives you those best margins. Consider increasing your prices by $5/10 on those routes - given you have so many seats going each way, this small amount will not effect demand a huge amount, but will give you considerably more profit. I would suggest changing routes prices for those high demand routes every 3 days by looking at seats booked and the fuel price.