Wave system costs/benefits

Hi all,

I’ve been on AS for a few years now, playing largely on short term game worlds. Over the last few months, however, I’ve been playing solely on a private server to be able to get more experience and allow me the flexibility to experiment with new things.

Over the years, and after extensive research here, I’ve seen users on this forum highlighting the benefits of a strong wave system. So, I decided to test it out with an airline based at DEL.

However by this time I had already grown to become a fairly large airline with almost 4,000 departures at my main hub and about 1,500 at my secondary hub at MAA. I only had one competitor based out BOM and BLR but were never directly competed in terms of sharing the same hub. Changing the flight plans for almost 400 aircraft was not feasible. So, I liquidated the airline and just started a new airline at CAN.

  1. The first problem is, I don’t think I really understand how a wave system actually works. With my DEL airline, I had all my flights organised around one massive wave at midnight and all flights arriving 1:30 before the wave. Most destinations like BOM and DXB had many more departures at other times because of the sheer demand. Now I’m trying to start a new airline and schedule all flights around 4 waves with a gap of 6 hours in between each, based out of CAN. My question is, how do I create an efficient wave system in terms of scheduling flights? I know maintenance is supposed to take place at outstation. But doesn’t that lead to really inefficient fleet usage? With a small airline that I have right now, it’s hard for me to justify keeping my aircraft on the ground when they could be flying.

  2. My second issue is that there’s a very large airline based next door at HKG, with 15,000 departures, all in a wave format. Does it still make sense for me in terms of getting connecting pax to focus so much on a wave system?

Thank you in advance for all the help!

Answer to 1: if you have 4 waves per day, you may want to fly in all directions from the beginning. So let’s say wave 1 to North, wave 2 to South, wave 3 to East and wave 4 to the West. With 1 plane, you cannot fly all 4 waves. But 3. So in the beginning, with 10 Mil starting capital, the wave is not yet steady but will be in while. :slight_smile:
Answer to 2: yes, it still makes sense to focus on a wave system in CAN. Even with having a huge competitor in HKG.

This is what I mean by “inefficient fleet usage” with a MX ratio of more than 300% with African Maintenance. Something about this doesn’t quite sit right with me :sweat_smile:

Thank you for this. Just to be clear, I have 5 starting aircraft, with a 15 more on order. The starting capital for this game world is $75 million.

As an addition: add 1 minute to the transfer time. So CAN has minimum of 1:30 h, let all planes arrive the latest 1:31 before your next wave time.
And yes, it is very much possible to fly that system with very efficient fleet usage.

I would not park my planes for maintenance out of my hub. As you are showing with your pic, the breaks are way too long.
Schedule 1 flight to PEK, fly back immediately and let the plane then sit there and wait for the next wave. The flight to SZX is a very bad example as it is only 100 km long. So take PVG for example which is 1000 km away. That will fill wave 3. Then fly to SZX in wave 4 AND in wave 5 (another flight to SZX whenever you want).

But flying back the aircraft immediately means that it won’t make the arrival wave that connects with the 06:00 departures. The same happens with PVG because it’s just 8 minutes of extra time away from fitting cleanly in one wave.

Of course, in the long run, I expect departures to each of the big airports every hour.

CAN PVG is possible, I am flying it as well.

Would it be possible to attach a screenshot of a wave flight plan (or even DM) so that I understand what you mean?

Is this maybe a better scheduling? But the waves here are with 8-hour gaps (which is something that I can maybe be ok with.

Having your aircraft returning to hub ASAP doesn’t sound like a good idea and isn’t quite “in wave”, so obviousely you have to live with sometimes long ground times at destination.
In the big picture ratios of 300% aren’t essentially bad as your revenues per seat offered increase due to how ORS works.

Generally, if you want to schedule in waves you need a plan of which markets you want to connect. What are your return times there or what routes do fit into your set return window?

Based on this you determine how many waves you need to set up in order to maintain at destination while keeping the average ratio close to 100%.
Don’t determine in waves per day, but per week.
My airlines fly with the following number of waves per week (per direction): 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14 and 2x7.
7 and 14 are easy obviousely, the other are a bit more complex.

Oh, and if you really want to cater for transfer pax (that is what a wave system is for) stay away from the big airports.
The best airport for a hub has plenty of slots, short transfers and zero demand.

That makes sense, I did read in earlier forum posts that one of the better airports for a wave system is ICT because of lower demand and relatively high slots.

It can’t get much better than that for a domestic hub - alongside a few other US airports.

You can be on the top players of a server/or be the first on the server- without a wave system. Maximum usage, planetypes, pricing and the seats make more difference than the 2% difference on the seat load factor by a wavesystem.

Ofc some old birds might be a different opinion, that the wave system is a must have. I personally have good results flying on limatambo and london with that strategy.

1 Like

If you need a wave-system or not depends on the market. At some you can grow without it. right. Others need it to get bookings and make a decent profit. However, even in big markets like US or China wave-systems are an good idea. Especially when the competition is / gets tough or you jump in on an old server and compete with the old big airlines there, like me now (and I did some years ago)

In AS success is relative. To be best (whatever that is) your airline not neccessarily needs to be good (as in well structured and scheduled) but only “better” than others.
It’s all about a bit of math. That said, you of course can be successful with chaos.

1 Like

Dear @AK, not only in AS success is relative. Thats why i did not use the word success in here. Because there is no strict definition of success. A donkey is sucessfull beeing a donkey (i mean the animal, not meant youre a donkey, to avoid other misssunderstandings) as an example.

About your chaos:
Just because you dont see an ordner in the system, it doesnt mean there is none.
The algorithm is just different than creating a “wave system flightplan” and its way more complex to say which one is better than just saying “wave system is always better”.

Here some questions that need to be answered around the whole thematic:

  1. Are the flights filling anyways?

  2. External pax from interlinings?

  3. Situation on the airport: How many other airlines are flying from this airport?

  4. How many flights do i have on this airport?

only to point a few points out.

Here´s some “math”.

1.Situation 1.)
Lets say you have the choice between two flights in a wavesystem and three flights in a row (by targetting the maximum capacity- all on one route regarding two airports. Flights are filling anyways.

Define:
u:=flight(towards)+ flight(back);
wavesystem=2u; maximum capacity= 3u;
2u<3u
=> max. cap. is generating more flights =>more possible theoretical income

  1. External factor interlining?

Is also generating connection pax. Might be that not all connections will be hit directly from start on. But the more dense the network gets over time, the more possible connections there will be, too.

  1. Competitors on your airport:
    Of course, efficient connection timing is relevant on the ors, as well as pricing. From my results, pricing has more impact.

  2. Amount of flights:
    Its not that maximum capacity strategy is not creating waves. Indeed it is, when you reach above 1000 flights. Then the network will become more dense and you will also have connection flights. Might be not as 100000% efficient as the wave system, but you can compensate that with the price and the additional capacities you gain with your extra flights.

OFC, you can still play your wavesystem. Do it please and its ofc not bad. But please Boomers, stop say its the only way to play and judge others if they play like this.

Just for the record: this thread wasn’t about waves vs. not and which one’s better - you turned it into it. And we’ve had dozens already.

In the past 17 years of playing AS I think I tried a lot and also think there isn’t much news to me. In fact my oldest active airline (founded 2011) followed what many and you do: possibly one timed arrival/departure window and the rest of the schedule filled to get close to 100% ratio, making it almost 6000 departures. Worked and still does, but not really great - benefiting from competition being more or less unable to attack. My other airlines - optimized on connections - perform much better and had zero problem to break into grown markets.

Now we could get into how the game works (demand distribution!) and how obviousely 1-stop connections (waves!) are favoured - simple math - but let me just try to answer those questions.

  1. Flights are filling anyways if there’s no real competition (demand>supply). A szenario where you could do whatever you want - usually seen on temp and private servers. Not sure where you’re playing and for how long you did.

  2. Interlinings cost money and are absolutely superfluous if schedules are accurately structured (there’s the wave again)

  3. If you schedule in waves, you do so for connecting pax. The absolute last thing you want are bookings to/from your hub as that causes assymmetries in your loads - empty seats, lost revenues. Non-wave scheduling requires you to rely on direct pax (hub o&d pax) which could easily be taken by competitors.

  4. How many flights does a wave system need?
    Let’s assume you get 1 booking per connection (ORS entry) at a reasonable price, so you’ll need 80 airframes if you’ve got 80 seats each and it’s raining dollars on you. Cut it to maybe 60 airframes to break even. So that’s how many flights per week? 60 per wave and direction, that makes 120 weekly to call it a working intercontinental hub if you want. Practically, you can already take off with 20 airframes as long as you’ve got some strong destinations to both ends. Try that on a crowded server in a competitive market “none-waved”.

Point is, you could have 500 departures spread through the day and still have less ORS entries at considerable ratings than a perfect wave of less than 50 departures.

And again, noone here says it’s the only system to play, but it’s mathmatically the superior for the setup the game’s running in.
Taking a market by flooding a key airport with thousands of departures will always work, I just don’t see a real thrill in it.

What would be a thrill would be a new server with an all new rating and demand distribution. This would have a massive impact to both camps, waved and none-waved.

2 Likes

@AK I think I need to report a crime to the police. You just murdered someone with words.

Just to add to your argumentation, in theory (and I’m hoping it will play out like that on Limatambo) a point-to-point system as laid out by airbsen only works when demand exceeds available capacity. On worlds with the older ORS this was never an issue. I am expecting some P2P airlines on Limatambo to hit a ceiling early in terms of growth and then really struggle because - with the denser seating configs - available airport slots should not be the bottleneck anymore.

1 Like