I know ideas regarding the scheduling system already came up at different places in the forum. I want to collect some of the ideas and expand on them. Of course, a demand&supply system and scheduling are two big things for itself, however - as they are highly interconnected and the first is necessary for the second - I discuss them in one topic
In order to have realistic routings and frequencies we need a (maybe basic?) demand&supply system. The question of course is on which variables such a system is based. I’ve checked the airport database and saw that information about locations of airports as well as a very basic characterization (small, medium, large) of airports is already available. So first two variables defining demand between two airports could be the distance between them and its size. For the player’s airport characterization one could take into account the size of the airport that is near to the player’s airport in real life.
However, for this approach, it might be helpul if there are more than three categories for the size of an airport. Due to the large amount of airports ingame I’m not sure how to get data (=passenger data) of every individual airport. Any ideas on that?
Based on possible demand, airlines start to make flight offers at player’s airport (after having signed a master contract, I like that idea ;))
To have something like a “slot-system”, I suggest 4 different slots over the day. Of course this number could be changed. You can find an example of that in the pic.
Two examples how offers could look like
Airline A: AA1234 3/7 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday PMI-XXX-PMI in a morning-morning slot
- Schedule with flight number AA1234 should operate three weekly (3/7) with flights on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
- Routing is PMI-XXX-PMI (XXX=Players airport)
- Turnaround should take place in a morning-morning slot, meaning the arrival as well as the departure should be in the morning
Airline B: BB5678 2/7 Saturday, Wednesday LPA-XXX-LPA (afternoon-evening)
- Schedule with flight number BB5678 should operate two weekly (2/7) with flight on Wednesday and Saturday
- Routing is LPA-XXX-LPA
- Turnaround should take place in a afternoon-evening slot, meaning the arrival has to be in the afternoon, the departure in the evening slot.
These are recurrent schedules, meaning they are repeated every week unless cancelled by the airline or airport.
Further possibilites of expanding that idea:
If you cannot provide the time-slot that is requested by the airline you can try to allocate a different slot for one or more flights included in the offered schedule. For example you could ask Airline A if the flight on Monday could also operate in a morning-afternoon slot. Of course, chances that this will be accepted by the airline increase a bit if you offer a discount for that flight. That’s a possibility for negotiation.
If - after some time - you are able to reallocate it to the requested schedule the airline will pay the usual fee determinded in the master contract. Of course an overview about flights that do not operate according to requested schedule would be helpful.
(See post below for an improvement of that idea)
Depending on the success of a certain destination, airlines can decide to expand a schedule, e.g. Airline A could add a fourth weekly rotation on Friday. However, they can also decide to cancel rotations or the entire route if demand is low.
It could even be possible that airlines ask for an upgrade or downgrade of the used aircraft, assumed suitable aircrafts are available. Especially when an airline would like to upgrade, the player has to make sure that suitable infrastructure is in place or otherwise has to reject the offer of an upgrade which could reduce airline satisfaction.
When having a supply&demand system another nice thing would be an overview about the performance of schedules. Of course airports in real life do not necessarily have information about the financial performance of a route for the airline, but they have information about passenger capacity usage. If you see e.g. that Airline B only has a usage of 50% on its LPA-XXX-LPA schedule above you could decide to financially support marketing activites of the airline a bit in order to increase usage and decrease the likelihood that the schedule is cancelled.
If you see that a route is perfoming very well but the airline has not offered more flights one could maybe even activly ask for more flights on that route.
Kind of airline competition: The supply&demand algorithm gives a certain demand value for a specific routes. If more than one airline serve that specific route, demand might increase a bit beyond that initial value, but at some point there is on oversupply and airlines start to reduce or cancel services.
Of course, these are just ideas - maybe they are good, maybe not - what are your opinions on that topic?