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Ongoing Operations and increasing your network

Monitoring your operations

Once your flights are planned and activated, a long period of waiting begins. A full cycle of bookings takes three days. Depending on how you have activated your flights, there won't be any activity for at least one day. Although there is not much to do in the very early stages, you can still monitor a few screens to see how your airline is progressing.

  • Passenger bookings
  • Estimating income
  • Market analysis
  • Personnel management

Besides that, you can continue reading this tutorial, scan the forum, check out similar airlines on other worlds, or plan ahead future routes on AS Route Map.

I will be describing a few points on the four screens listed above.

Passenger bookings

Obviously, the passenger bookings are the most important activities to monitor. After all, it's your clients that make you earn money.

On the fleet management page select the white icon with the lines on the right. This will bring you directly to the flights page of that aircraft.

You will see the flights booked and flown and the number of seats on sale as well as the bookings per class. The color coding of the seats sold gives you an indication how well the flight is doing. You want to look for a few things here.

Check the airport page to find the time when a given airport has its bookings calculated.

Each airport has a time when its demand is calculated. Check it against your airline's hub time at the bottom of the screen to see if that airport has already booked the flights or not. Especially when you define a new route, you might want to check the bookings to see whether the route is a good one or not. You might get a few bookings during other times that come from bookings of airports in the ground network. That can add a few passengers.

You might want to monitor the ratio of the classes. If the Business class is quickly filled up to 100% but Economy is still half empty, then you might want to change the seat configuration to install more business class seats (as in the example above). Adding a few business seats should get the overall load factor up and make the flights more profitable.

Click on the triangle on the right hand side to get the detailed calculation of that particular flight.

This page is quite important and provides you with a multitude of information. Above you have the obvious, the route and times of the flight. You have a couple of links to get you to various other settings pages to change the details for this flight. Any changes though, is only reflected in newly booked flights of that route. Anything already booked in, will remain as it is.

The Costing page then starts of with a summary of the loads followed by a Costing Summary and a Result of that flight.

The loads will show you the capacity (number of seats installed and available for sale). The number of seats available for sale can differ from the seats installed for a few reasons. That could be performance limitations or restrictions on traffic rights. It list the prices that you have defined as well as the minimum price you must charge or you face dumping allegations.

An interesting part is the four rows showing the connecting passengers. We have no connecting passengers from the departure airport but 23 passengers that continue their flight. 11 of those connect to another airline with which I have engaged in an interlining, while 12 of those connect to a flight of my own aircraft. Connecting passengers are very important, and are a function of how well you have setup your hub.

You will then see a summary and the detailed costs of that flight. Please note, these are as per the current status of the aircraft. If you for example cancel the leasing, or the flight plan, the costing details will change even though the flight has already been finished. This is a "bug" or known limitation of the system.

Please also note, that the total cost column is the relevant amount you have to focus on. If you feel that you lose money on your cargo, because you have only a few bookings, you won't "save" that cost part if you choose to not fly any cargo at all. The fuel, cost for pilots, leasing etc. will then just be allocated with higher values to Economy and the other classes. The Total column will NOT change, except for the very few direct cost items (like Cargo Handling and Cargo Controllers).

 

Estimating income

One of the main goals of this game is to grow bigger. Now in order to get more aircraft, you have to earn money. But when exactly do you have enough to invest in a new plane? This is a little tricky and most players will suffer the consequences of being too optimistic sooner or later. There's no easy and simple way to calculate your incoming cash flow. Here's a quick and dirty method, you might develop some more sophisticated methods.

You have to keep an eye on your upcoming events in terms of payments. You can see that on your dashboard, or to look a bit further ahead, have a look at the complete financial schedule. Unfortunately, this schedule only lists your outgoing payments. It does not include any incoming amounts. Please also always double check the Week-end closing amount as this might not be properly updated.

For the incoming amounts you have to look at your Income Statement. Look at the last period of revenue and divide it by 7. This give you the gross income per day. Since your airline should be growing, you hopefully get more in the current period, so you should be on the safe side.

Have a look at the costs up to EBITDA. Don't include the salaries and the leasing installments. This will give you the costs of the week or day by dividing it by 7. So you get the gross margin per day that you should normally be making. The salaries are paid at the end of the week, so no need to include them in your daily calculation. The leasing installments are visible in your event schedule, so it is also not relevant to include them here.

Play it safe before you order a new plane. If you can't meet the leasing payments, your aircraft will get back to the lessor. You will lose your seats and you won't be able to earn money with that plane, so you'll be setback quite a bit. Also remember, you will need the money for the cabin configuration, so you have to include that as well.

On the more shorter term you can use the Operations Control to estimate the income.

The operations control lists all flights in the upcoming hours. Check when a critical payment is due and you can then have a look at the flights before that time. Click on the link in the green flight boxes to get to the flight costing page. Your relevant income is the CM II. That is the contribution margin you should get from that flight which is relevant to your cash flow.

Market analysis