what is the smallest possible viable airline?

I've been playing this game for some time with a couple of successful airlines, and I've added another subsidiary in one of the open investment areas. It ain't going so well. In fact, I've cut back to two destinations and a Let410 and although the flights are 100% loaded, it's still losing money. Which makes me wonder, is there a minimum size needed to survive at all? Are they any examples out there of really small airlines making a profit?

Without any ILs you can basically survive with everything if you get full loads. I have survived with just one Cessna 208A in an airline where I knew all flights I had would be full.

Your fleet management and administration are the largest fixed costs besides interline networking costs, but depending on Route and prices it might as well be that aircraft leased with your initial budget be able to pay those coats.

You might be underusing the planes. If your planes are losing money in spite of a full load then you should probably add more flights to the plane to spread the leasing and salary costs over more flights. Also raise the ticket prices as well.

Euh... I know Tandem. He already played on Tempelhof 5 years ago and had a succesful airline back then, so I guess he knows a full schedule is better than a schedule with too much blue  ;-)

His question is very specific: is there a minimum size for an airline operating small planes, whilst still being profitable...

Jan

I once have an airline with two 20-year-old DH-1s, based in a 1-bar airport. Almost all my routes are monopolized, so I price as high as possible. All flights are based on specific O/D demand, and this airline does not interline at all. The load was around 90% and weekly profit around AS$ 10,000.

I think for tiny airline companies, the salaries of employees are the most significant overhead (fixed cost as well) that has to cover.  The biggest overhead is the 22 administrative employees when you have your first plane. And then for each airport you flight you have some ground crew, so all routes have to be at least 7 weekly departures to fully utilize them. 

To answer my own question, Air Tadjoura is alive and kicking with two LET410s and two destinations. It just turned in a profit of 2,873AS$ on a revenue of 158,546AS$.  At this rate I'll be able to lease another aircraft in just a couple of years :)

To answer my own question, Air Tadjoura is alive and kicking with two LET410s and two destinations. It just turned in a profit of 2,873AS$ on a revenue of 158,546AS$.  At this rate I'll be able to lease another aircraft in just a couple of years :)

It would be just six weeks for a Britten-Norman Islander, you certainly can be that patient. :p