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Demand on routes


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Just wondering, what determines the demand on a specific route? Does demand match what year it is? (So it increases as time goes on?) Why do some airports such as Guangzhou and Dubai have very little demand? Why do fights to and from Shanghai Hongqiao have a higher demand than Shanghai Pudong even after Shanghai Pudong opened and became the main airport of Shanghai?

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On 7/13/2021 at 6:36 PM, Yoyo20 said:

Just wondering, what determines the demand on a specific route? Does demand match what year it is? (So it increases as time goes on?) Why do some airports such as Guangzhou and Dubai have very little demand? Why do fights to and from Shanghai Hongqiao have a higher demand than Shanghai Pudong even after Shanghai Pudong opened and became the main airport of Shanghai?

In the current iteration of the demand model the demand is determined based on distance and relative populations served (which is a formula depending on population within a 50 nm radius of the airport distance adjusted), along with international considerations. I am a few weeks away from releasing a new update with the new demand model that makes demand much more dynamic by having 7 different types of demand (from tourists to business demand etc.) determined based on parameters that each city and nation has in regards to its tourism appeal, industrial activity, income inequality etc. (btw if someone wants to help out with assigning these attributes feel free to reach out). Further the new demand model works by metropolitan areas, with each airport within the same metro area competing with all the others in the same area (so Newark-LAX flights compete with JFK-LAX flights for example). I'm also planning on adding flight connections in but its a slightly different beast altogether (I still have PTSD from the first time I added flight connections in the sim).

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I've literally only just started this game but I have played AirWaySim and AirlineSim for years. I really like the slightly more dynamic modelling proposed by your upcoming change. It'll allow the possibility of smaller airports to grow and be viable alternatives to bigger, more crowded airports. The way I read the possibility (I looked at your term paper!) is that Long Island MacArthur could be as big as JFK if you pump enough flights through it. 

I suppose my one question would be how do these work in preventing someone from simply 'ending around' a crowded and popular airport to cleave and manufacture demand where it otherwise wouldn't reasonably be? Could I take a significant portion of air traffic away from Newark by flying out of Atlantic City? Or a better example could be Boston. Could I capture a ton of Boston's traffic by flying out of Providence or Martha's Vineyard? I get the sense that you could simply yoink passengers by opening bases in less crowded airports until seemingly every airport within ~200nm of a major urban area (Chicago, New York, LA, Miami etc) is a base for somebody trying to syphon off overlapping passenger bases. It'd end up really devaluing highly valuable real life airports like LAX or JFK

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12 hours ago, sirvalkyerie said:

I've literally only just started this game but I have played AirWaySim and AirlineSim for years. I really like the slightly more dynamic modelling proposed by your upcoming change. It'll allow the possibility of smaller airports to grow and be viable alternatives to bigger, more crowded airports. The way I read the possibility (I looked at your term paper!) is that Long Island MacArthur could be as big as JFK if you pump enough flights through it. 

I suppose my one question would be how do these work in preventing someone from simply 'ending around' a crowded and popular airport to cleave and manufacture demand where it otherwise wouldn't reasonably be? Could I take a significant portion of air traffic away from Newark by flying out of Atlantic City? Or a better example could be Boston. Could I capture a ton of Boston's traffic by flying out of Providence or Martha's Vineyard? I get the sense that you could simply yoink passengers by opening bases in less crowded airports until seemingly every airport within ~200nm of a major urban area (Chicago, New York, LA, Miami etc) is a base for somebody trying to syphon off overlapping passenger bases. It'd end up really devaluing highly valuable real life airports like LAX or JFK

Hahaha, yeah the algorithm in the term paper is indeed the algorithm that I use for modeling metropolitan areas, albeit with slightly different parameters (I also did get an A in the class/term paper, although I have a feeling the professor wasn't exactly looking too critically).

The point you raise is valid and is actually a problem right now, since demand is based on the airports population within 50 miles, and there are 3 primary ways in which the new demand model addresses it.

  • Although probably not going to be a part of this update, I do have runway information about all of the airports in the sim, as well as all aircraft have minimum runway requirements in the db, so it would be relatively trivial (and I indeed plan) to implement runway minimums such that you simply wouldn't be able to operate large jets out of small airports that can't sustain them.
  • The new model has airport parameters that 'grade' airports as to how preferable that airport is, similar to how metro areas and nations have attributes. So pax will prefer certain airports over others, although that 'grade' might be influenced in later updates by infrastructure constructed as part of the hub (lounges etc.), there are always going to be some airports that are more preferred. Although this will be implemented in this update, assigning attributes to airports will likely not be a priority until after all the nations and major metros have had their attributes set. Until then the attributes will be neutral. While not all passengers care a lot about the quality of the airport (lest LGA not exist), the premium passengers do. All of which is actually quite realistic.
  • I plan on implementing specific airport restrictions into the sim in a future update, this includes things like restrictions regarding international flights, maximum distance requirements (take a look at LGA or DAL for instance), as well as airport closure/opening times, maintenance or runway restrictions etc.

As a rule I generally try and avoid arbitrary restrictions on what you can or can't do in the game in favor of trying to model the realistic obstacles that prevent real world airlines from say operating out of Teterboro or the like.

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Sounds good. I like the approach. I realize it's in its infancy still so lots of features to be added and/or tweaked as time allows. I really appreciate the idea of allowing players to shape the world and so not planting lots of restrictions, but also trying to model real world circumstances in a fashion that encourages realistic outcomes. 

I think most browser sims either don't implement at all or implement hub-and-spoke very poorly. I think connections and hubs have real promise for allowing users to shape things around them. Bellingham had served as a hub for Frontier, Pittsburgh was a major hub for US Airways, Arnold Palmer (LBE) is a tiny focus city for Spirit! While passengers prefer directs many passengers are plenty happy to go to a local airport and take a connection instead of driving n hours to take a nonstop from their nearest major airport. Cincinnati (CVG) used to take tons of through traffic from Delta as passengers would connect from all over, no one's final destination was actually CVG.  

That sort of thing is very difficult to model but gives users elbow room when worlds get crowded. No reason specifically why Jackson Hole or Louisville couldn't serve as hubs. This would allow for a wider variety of viable plane choices for airlines as well. 

I'm rambling but my point is that I'm excited to see how it develops as I often feel the ability for the player to truly impact the game world in Airline Sim or AirWaySim is largely pretty limited. 

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