Route competition

I run an express carrier in Canada, i have tried to fly a Dash-8 Q400 from Vancouver to Seattle. I cannot get my passenger loads over 30%. The only competition on the route is another airline using the same aircraft type, and our ORS ratings are identical. The competitors flights are fully booked round the clock, I am charging $15 less and have tried reducing my flights but cannot put a dent in the load. What other factors can contribute to such a larger difference in load factors between competing airlines on a route?


maybe your competitor has an interlining agreement with an airline in Seattle that generates many connecting passengers. In this case passengers fly from Vancouver to Seattle and continue their journey with another flight, or they arrive in Seattle with another flight and transfer onto his flight back to Vancouver.

Or perhaps he has more flights arriving in Vancouver with passengers that transfer onto his flight to Seattle. In this case passengers from different cities in Canada fly to Vancouver and transfer onto his flight to Seattle. And his returning flight from Seattle carries passengers that take a connecting flight in Vancouver.


thank you for the reply. I ended up canceling the route.

It leads me to another question though. How do you determine WHERE passengers actually want to go and when? Can you put a load amount to those green bars? does the time of day effect flight load? Day of week? Is it feasible to have a non daily flight more profitable than a once daily or a 5x daily?

I’m getting a good grasp of the game but I feel I’m missing something and being able to have actual numerical data would seem very helpful

Hi there,

I’ve posted some of the common answers to passenger/traffic questions on the wiki:


Short answer: There’s no published formula for how many people want to go from point A to point B. Passengers don’t care about time of day (or day, up to 3 days). You can successfully fill less-than-daily flights on a low-demand route.

I too yearned for the numerical data, but it seems it’s not available, and you’ll have to experiment to find out exactly what works for your airline.

Hope that helps!




nobody (except for Martin :wink: knows where passengers fly to. It is one of the things that make the game challenging… and sometimes frustrating. It helps if you know the area, because real life traffic is (more or less) reflected in the game.

Flying every other day can be more profitable than a daily flight that flies half empty. At least in theory. But if another airline flies daily to that airport, the passengers won’t wait for your next flight.

More green bars means more passengers :P

But imagine a small (3 or 4 green bars) domestic airport. Depending on the region and the size of the country, 25% of the passengers might want to travel to the capital, another 25% to the biggest city in the region, and the other 50% may have various other destinations. As a beginning airline operating from the capital, you will only attract 25% of these passengers. As your airline grows and offers more connections, you will get more passengers from that airport.

I think it was a wise decision to dump that route if it was not profitable. But you may give it another try in the future, when your network has expanded. By the way - and as an illustration… On the Tempelhof server, one airline has 18 boeing 737’s flying on the Vancouver-Seattle route today. 17 out of those 18 jet flights are fully booked. The ORS on the Stapleton server shows 10 planes flying that same route today. All Embraers and Dashes, and only one of them is fully booked.

And Kyle, thanks for adding useful information to the AirlineSim for dummies.


Just a quick tip - try a wave structure, so your passengers can have better connection times. This may help swing a few passengers from your competitors. Usually, I added a few routes/frequencies east one week, followed by a few routes/frequencies west the next week.

My airline is fairly large, but despite that, there are routes I have tried 3-4 times in the last 8 months that still don’t work - despite other airlines getting good loads. Concentrate on your ‘milky’ routes and aim to get the most profit (adjust prices weekly - look at your loads and the fuel price on the server). Experimenting becomes easier once you build a modest capacity to your most successful routes.


thanks for the info everyone