Game Guide

— Complete Game Guide —

The following is a detailed game guide, covering all aspects of the game. It is recommended to read through this guide before playing Airline Enterprise to gain a better understanding of how the game works. If you have any questions that this guide doesn't answer, feel free to create an account on our Forums and we'll be happy to help!

If you are looking for something specific in this guide, you can push CTRL+F (or COMMAND+F on Mac) to search for a particular term.

— Table of Contents —

— 1. Your Account —

Your account can be accessed by clicking on About --> My Account in the main menu. Usernames in Airline Enterprise can not be changed. To change your password, click the Change Password link on the account page. You will be promted to enter your current password, as well as the new password you would like.

To change your date and time settings, select your time zone from the list provided, and make sure the daylight savings setting is correct for your time zone. Time zone setup is necessary to ensure times are displayed to you correctly throughout the game, for example flight departure and arrival times. The current time on your account should match the current time where you live.

If you want to reset your airline and start over, click the red Reset Airline link at the bottom of your account. This will delete your airline and prompt you to create a new one. This action is irreversible, so be certain that you want to start over before you reset your airline. You may only reset your airline once every two weeks.

— 2. Airline Management —

Your Airline Overview page displays a general analysis of your airline. The top table lists basic airline information such as your Headquarters location, reputation, credit rating, passengers carried and 24 hour revenue. The second table shows active flights that are landing soon. To view all active and scheduled flights, click the see all link on the top of the table.

The third and fourth tables list your gates and your aircraft, respectively. Not all gates are displayed here. Click the view all link to go to the gate management page. The fleet table displays each aircraft model you operate, the number you own or lease, as well as the average age of that model group.

2a — Reputation

Your airline reputation is a representation of how your airline is viewed by the public, and has a direct impact on your loadfactors. A good reputation represents a well-known and trusted airline. You earn reputation points by completing flights. Reputation is affected by flight distance and legroom. Longer flights earn more reputation points that short-haul flights, but take longer to complete obviously. If you leave some additional unused seat slots when configuring your aircraft, you will get a boost to your reputation earned on each flight due to the additional legroom. If you pack your aircrat to the brim with seats, you will not get a reputation boost.

In the future, IFE and IFS will have a drastic impact on reputation. However at this time IFE and IFS are not implemented into the game.

2b — Credit Rating

Your credit rating is the determining factor in how many aircraft you can lease, as well as how many loans you can take out and the value of those loans. The less debt you have, the better your credit rating. Credit rating takes into account 3 different categories:

  • Amount Owed - How much you owe compared to how much you have (debt/asset ratio)
  • Payment history - How many times did you make a late payment, and what is the total value of those payments
  • Length of credit (airline age)
These categories are weighted as followed:
  • Amount owed - 45%
  • Payment history - 40%
  • Length of credit - 15%

Below are the loan limits (number of loans, credit limit, and interest rate) as well as the aircraft lease limits for each rating:

AAA: 6 loans | $500,000,000 @ 1.5% APR | $200,000,000
AA+: 5 loans | $400,000,000 @ 2% APR | $100,000,000
A: 4 loans | $250,000,000 @ 4% APR | $55,000,000
A-: 4 loans | $200,000,000 @ 4.5% APR | $35,000,000
BBB+: 3 loans | $180,000,000 @ 5% APR | $25,000,000
BB+: 3 loans | $150,000,000 @ 6% APR | $15,000,000
B: 2 loans | $110,000,000 @ 8% APR | $5,000,000
B-: 2 loans | $100,000,000 @ 8% APR | $4,000,000
CCC+: 2 loans | $90,000,000 @ 9% APR | $2,500,000
CC: 1 loan | $80,000,000 @ 10% APR | $1,500,000
C: 1 loan | $80,000,000 @ 10% APR | $1,000,000

Credit rating is still a work in progress.

2c — Financial Information

You have several ways to view and track your airline's financial performance. Ledgers provide a detailed look into your transactions, one by one. The income statement breaks down expenses and revenues into categories, and displays a monthly balance. The flight history page displays a log of all your flights, along with detailed information such as fuel cost, revenue, profit, number of passengers and so on. All of these are explained in detail below, and can be accessed by going to Manage Airline --> Financial on the main menu.

i. Ledgers

The ledger is broken down into two sections: recent transactions and upcoming transactions. Recent transactions lists all of the financial transactions that your airline has already incurred. Upcoming transactions lists transactions that you have not been charged for yet, but you will be eventually. Any and all financial transactions are recorded in the ledgers, from flight revenue and fuel costs, to aircraft maintenance and landing fees, and everything in between. If you pay for it or get paid for it, it will show up in the ledgers. Only the 20 most recent (or the next 20 upcoming) are displayed on the main page, but you can view all transactions by clicking the (see all) link.

ii. Income Statement

The income statement provides a monthly overview of your categorized income and expenses. Income and expenses are broken down into operating and non-operating, which are used to determine your operating income as well as your profit margin. Operating income is considered to be a reliable indicator of the financial health of your airline, as it disregards capital investments such as aircraft purchases and one-off expenses that would otherwise give a false indication of performance. The income statement is a good way to see the overall long-term financial performance of your airline, as well as see what categories you are spending the most money in.

iii. Loan Management

The loan management page allows you to view the current balance of any loans you have, and pay them off. You can also view any past loans that have been closed, as well as request a new loan if your credit rating allows it. Interest charged on loans is the APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, and is compounded daily. To get the daily interest rate, divide the APR by 365. Then multiply that by the amount owed to get the daily interest charge. The number of loans you can have, as well as your credit limit (maximum amount you can loan) and your interest rate depends on your airline's credit rating. To view the loan options at each credit rating, see Credit Rating.

— 5. Route Management —

Routes are the backbone of the entire game; they are how you earn revenue and reputation and ultimately grow your airline. Before creating a route, be sure that you have researched flights you want to include on the route and have a good idea of what the demand is. For more on that, see the route research portion of this guide. The sections below will review how to set up and activate routes for your airline.

Routes consist of a series of flights assigned to an aircraft. Think of a route as a daily schedule for a particular aircraft. Each aircraft can only be assigned to 1 active route at a time, with one exception (see next paragraph). You are free to create routes however you wish. Both hub and spoke and point to point style routing will work with Airline Enterprise. If you would like to do a simple return leg, for example LHR-JFK-LHR, you are free to do that. If you want to do something more complicated, such as LAX-SFO-DEN-ORD-DFW-LAX, you can do that as well. Routes do not have to start and end at the same location; you could do perhaps JFK-ORD-DFW-DEN-LAX, and then set up a second route with the same aircaft that departs out of LAX. As you can see, you can get fairly creative with your route configurations. The only rule is that routes with more than 2 stops can not exceed 24 hours in total accumulated flight time.

You can define which days of the week a route will fly. This can be useful for maximizing utilization of your aircraft if it flies routes that are too lengthy to operate on a daily basis, or if you simply prefer an aircraft to fly different routes on different days. You can assign multiple routes to the same aircraft provided that they fly on different days and no two routes operate on the same day.

5a — Creating Routes

Creating a route is a 3-step process. To create a route, go to Manage Airline --> Routes --> Create Route. The departure airport is the airport that the route will originate out of. In order to fly the route, whichever aircraft you assign to the route must be located at the departure airport. The departure time is the local time (at the departure airport) of the first leg of the route. The number of stops is just that, how many stops will the aircraft make during this route? This can be any number you like, keeping in mind the 24 hour rule.

Keep in mind that flights departing or arriving between the hours of 1am and 5am will suffer some level of demand loss due to the extreme hours. Most passengers do not prefer to arrive or depart in the middle of the night. The amount of demand lost depends on what time the flight departs or arrives; a flight arriving at 1:10am will suffer very little demand loss, while a flight arriving at 3am will suffer almost maximum demand loss.

The second step of the route creation process will have you configure the stops for the route, as well as select the aircraft that you want to fly the route. Only aircraft that are capable of flying the route you configured will be listed. If you want the route to fly uninterrupted, be sure the last stop matches the initial departure airport. Otherwise, you will need to create a second route to make the aircraft come full-circle back to where it started.

The third and final step will have you configure the departure times of each flight in the route. Every stop will display a "Ready At" time. This is the earliest that the aircraft can depart from that location. If you change a departure time, be sure to consider how it affects the arrival and thus departure times of all following flights. When you save the route, the game will check it for errors and display the icon if there are timing errors. Eventually we hope to have the ready times update dynamically as you select the departure times, but for now that is not supported.

If your route displays a "Gate Error!" message, this means you do not have a gate leased at either the departure or arrival airport (or both) for the affected leg(s). To clear this error, lease the required gates, and then save the route.

Routes are flown automatically, in real-time. Once you create and activate a route, the game will automatically schedule your flights, assuming there are no issues with your route. If you deactivate a route, all currently scheduled flights will be completed, but will no longer be scheduled again in the future. To cancel scheduled flights, click the icon, once you have deactivated the route.

*This guide is in the process of being brought up to date. Old guide can be viewed below.*

Purchasing Aircraft
To purchase a new aircraft, go to the Purchase Aircraft page under the fleet menu and select a manufacturer. This will bring up an overview of the different models the manufacturer has for sale. To configure your order, click the configure link on the far right of the model you want to purchase. There are discounts applied for purchasing in bulk, if you can afford it. Each aircraft has an initial lead time as well as a build time. The delivery date of the first aircraft will be shown to you on the configuration page. If you order more than one, subsquent aircraft will be delivered after this date. Larger aircraft have longer lead times and build times.

To purchase a used aircraft, go to the Used Aircraft Market page under the fleet menu. This will bring up a selection of system-generated used aircraft as well as aircraft for sale by other players.

Leasing Aircraft
To lease a new aircraft, go to the Lease Aircraft page under the fleet menu and select a manufacturer. This will bring up an overview of the different models the manufacturer has for lease. To configure your order, click the configure link on the far right of the model you want to lease. There are discounts applied for leasing in bulk, if you can afford it, as well as signing a longer lease term. Each aircraft has an initial lead time as well as a build time. The delivery date of the first aircraft will be shown to you on the configuration page. If you order more than one, subsquent aircraft will be delivered after this date. Larger aircraft have longer lead times and build times. The amount of active leases you may have depends on your airline's credit rating. Your current lease limit is displayed on the configuration page.

You pay for leased aircraft on a weekly basis. You must pay the first week's lease immediately upon ordering as a down payment. Lease payments are paid every Friday at noon GMT.

Leasing used aircraft is not possible, but it will be implemented eventually.

Leasing Gates
Your first gate is always located at your home base, and is leased for 1 month. Your first week's lease at your home base is free. To lease additional gates, go to the Lease Gates page and select the airport you want to lease a gate at. This will bring up various options such as number of gates to lease, length of the lease term and type of gate. There are discounts for longer term lengths when leasing a gate.

Route Research
Before flying a particular route, you may want to do some research on it to see if it will be profitable for you. You can do this by going to Research->Routes. This allows you to select a departure and arrival airport, and if you'd like, input a reputation and custom ticket prices to see how those will affect demand. You will be presented with an estimate of the total passengers, reputation and revenue you would get from that flight. Keep in mind these are just estimates; a variety of factors can influence demand. Every flight will be a little bit different.

Each route has a default ticket price, referred to as the base price. This price is a general guideline as to what passengers expect to pay on that route. Base prices for each ticket class are shown on the route research page, but here are the formulas for how base price is calculated:

Economy: $70 + $0.15 per mile
Economy Plus: $140 + $0.30 per mile
Premium Economy: $280 + $0.60 per mile
Business Class: $735 + $1.575 per mile
First Class: $920 + $1.97 per mile

These base ticket prices are what your prices are set to by default when you first create your airline.

Flying Routes
There are two ways to fly routes in Airline Enterprise. The first and most simple way is to perform a quick flight. To do this, go to your fleet page, locate the aircraft you want to send on a route, and click on the icon. This will display a list of possible destinations. Make sure you have leased gates with at least two different airports. Also keep in mind runway requirement and range of your aircraft.

The second, and more mainstream way of flying is to create routes and then assign them to your aircraft. Before creating a route, make sure you have leased gates at airports you wish to fly to, as well as purchased or leased at least 1 aircraft. To create a route, go to Manage Airline->Routes->Create Route. Select the initial departure airport, the local departure time at that airport that you want, and the number of stops you want the route to have. Routes do not automatically return to the initial departure airport (nor do they have to), so be sure to account for that when calculating the number of stops. For instance, if you want to create a route from LAX to SFO and then back to LAX, you would select LAX as the departure airport, and enter 2 stops. Stop 1 would be SFO and stop 2 would be back to LAX. Keep in mind the total flight time of a route cannot exceed 24 hours (this does not include turnaround time or time between flights), unless the route only has 2 stops.

The next page will have you select the airports that each stop will take place at, as well as the aircraft that you want to assign to the route. Once you have the stops configured, the final step is to configure the departure times of each leg of the flight. Each flight will have a "Ready at:" time displayed; This is the earliest time that the aircraft can depart from that location. For now, these times do not update dynamically based on the selected departure time of the previous flight. If you choose to add extra time between each flight, be sure to calculate correctly and carry that extra time throughout the entire route, considering how it will affect arrival and ready at times of each consecutive leg.

To activate a route you have created, go to Manage Airline->Routes. This will display a list of all your routes, and give you the option to activate them as well as delete and re-name them. At this time you cannot edit a route. To begin flying the route, simply click the "Activate Route" button and the game will schedule all the flights for you. That's it!

Make sure that you have enough gates available at the destination airport when your aircraft(s) are scheduled to land. If two planes will be on the ground simultaneously, you will need to have 2 available gates. Otherwise, the second aircraft will be forced to park elsewhere on the tarmac, and passengers will be bussed to the terminal. This will result in a negative reputation for your flight, and unhappy passengers.

Ticket Pricing
There are two ways to set ticket prices for your flights. The first is to set up base fares that will apply to all your routes. You can set this up by going to Manage Airline->Routes->Set Ticket Prices. This allows you to enter a base fare, as well as a cost per mile for each class.

If you want finer control over your ticket prices, you can set custom prices on a route-by-route basis. To do this, go to Manage Airline->Routes->Flight Numbers. After you create a custom flight number, you will be able to set individual ticket prices for each passenger class on that particular route. These ticket prices override the base fares that you have set up on the "Set Ticket Prices" page. Configuring flight numbers is completely optional.

Route Demand
Airline Enterprise uses a sophisticated demand formula to calculate the number of passengers on each route. Currently, demand is influenced by the following factors:

Airport Rank - How popular are the airports you are flying between? Airports with more annual passengers have higher demand.
Airline Reputation - The reputation of your airline affects how many people are willing to fly with you. New airlines will struggle to attract new customers.
Competition - If multiple airlines are flying a particular route, you may struggle to gain passengers. Try lowering your ticket price or work on improving your reputation.
Ticket Price - A low ticket price, in comparison to the average price as well as the base price, will attract more passengers to your airline. A higher ticket price will cause you to lose out on some demand, but you will have a higher revenue per passenger.
Distance - Most passengers only want to fly when it is cost effective for them. Extremely short routes that are less than 150 miles will have decreased demand. It is not impossible to operate these routes, but your options may be limited.
Time of Day - Passengers do not want to depart or arrive in the middle of the night. Flights departing or arriving between 1am and 5am will experience a loss of demand. How much demand is lost depends on how late into the night the flight departs or arrives.
Random Demand - Each flight will have a small percentage of random demand added or subtracted to it.

In the future, we plan on improving on the demand formula and adding even more factors to it. For example, once IFE and IFS are implemented into the game, those will certainly have an effect on your demand. Another thing we are planning is to work time of day into the competition factor. This would compare the times of your flights to the times of your competitor's flights, allowing for a very dynamic system. Flights during different times of the day would have different demands based upon how many airlines are flying that particular route during that time of the day.

Your airline will automatically hire, fire, and train new employees for you. What you are in charge of managing is the reserve level of each employee group, as well as the median salary for each employee group. Reserves are the amount of extra employees you hire beyond the required minimum. Typically you want some amount of reserves in order to accomodate for vacations, sick leave, and scheduling conflicts. Having a low reserve percentage, or a low salary, will reduce the happiness of your employees. Unhappy employees are prone to quitting, which is represented by the attrition rate. This rate is the weekly percentage of employees in each group that quit your airline. When an employee quits, they are replaced by a new employee, which must then be trained. Each employee group has different training costs depending on the complexity of the position.

Infrastructure & Headquarters Office
Your airline has a small, leased office building when first starting out. As you grow, you will need to upgrade your office to accomodate more employees. Not all employees use your office space. Only executives, corporate operations, and 25% of your customer service agents utilize space in your office building. Flight crews and cabin crews work in your aircraft, and your mechanics, ramp agents, and the remainder of your customer service agents work in the airports that you service. If your office is too small for the amount of employees you have, employee happiness will begin to drop significantly and attrition rates will rise.