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Plane image and country restrictions
#1
I haven’t noticed any values that would tell the player how favourably a plane is seen by the passengers. Some planes had particular image problems, like the Comet, while others were kept by the airlines, even though they were borderline unprofitable, just because they were immensely popular with passengers and seen as a technological wonder of the time (Stratocruiser is probably the best example). This should also penalise airlines in the west for buying Soviet craft, which was popularly seen as unsafe and even obsolete. 

Airlinesim has an interesting system with image and passenger popularity buffs or debuffs, based on the craft you have. It was a huge boost for Pan American and BOAC that they had a Stratocruiser, the largest and most luxurious plane of its era, even though they struggled to keep them profitable. In the modern era this wouldn’t be as spectacular, but planes like the Dreamliner can still be a strong statement regarding the airline’s strength, and similarly, a US airline buying Russian craft would suffer a terrible PR blow.

Also, although it’s a separate suggestion, it would be rather important to place restrictions and preferences on airlines in some countries.

1) Soviet bloc airlines should not be permitted to buy non-Soviet bloc planes.
2) If possible, airlines should seek to buy a plane made in their own country first, at least until the 50s/60s, regarding political preferences. I guess it could be tricky for the AI to decide whether to buy a half-decent local plane or a much better foreign one, but factors such as the design date, speed, capacity and costs should do the convincing bit.
3) West Berlin was historically only serviced by one airline each from the western countries, I wonder if that’s doable, perhaps as a separate license granted at the start to historical airlines and later available to purchase for a very significant price?
4) Some airlines had significant “first dibs” on planes, Boeing 314, Stratocruiser and Boeing 707 are a good example, as Boeing had a long-lasting relationship with Pan Am.
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#2
Hey thanks for the input. That should make historical play even more interesting indeed. I'll take a look at these if we can implement them.


I'm not so keen on the one airline to West Berlin part. There are many other similar rules that we won't simulate either for gameplay reasons.
Like currently only one airline is allowed to fly over Russia per country or back in the day only two airlines per country where allowed to between London and Paris.
There are many rules like these that would make it rather hard to set up an interesting network. In that case only Europe/USA and some others would be interesting with the Open Skies agreement. Smile
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#3
(12-02-2019, 11:07 AM)Tjoeker Wrote: Hey thanks for the input. That should make historical play even more interesting indeed. I'll take a look at these if we can implement them.


I'm not so keen on the one airline to West Berlin part. There are many other similar rules that we won't simulate either for gameplay reasons.
Like currently only one airline is allowed to fly over Russia per country or back in the day only two airlines per country where allowed to between London and Paris.
There are many rules like these that would make it rather hard to set up an interesting network. In that case only Europe/USA and some others would be interesting with the Open Skies agreement. Smile

That's quite understandable, these rules aren't particularly fun, and could be difficult to balance with the AI.
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#4
If the game aims to be a simulation of an airline at any point between 1930 and today, it needs to be authentic. Airlines often had a very specific reason why they bought one plane over another. Howard Hughes who owned TWA worked hard to support Lockheed and would buy the Super Constellations even when it made little sense to do so. BEA supported the Trident over Boeing 727 and would never buy the latter. My native Poland had to buy communist planes, even though they were terrible and not safe, but communist regulations made them do that. Czechoslovak airlines wanted to buy western planes in the 40s or 50s but their government said “no” as well.

AI CEOs definitely need a pre-set preferences for planes based on real life. Otherwise the in-game world would feel fake. Especially when North Korean or Soviet Union planes operate recent Boeings:

Also, sometimes great planes were not accepted for political or nationalistic reasons. That’s why Vickers Viscount, the best plane of its time, was never as popular in the America as it should be. It was, however, used by BEA for a very long time. AI should do that too.

Countries that turn communist should try to get rid of their western planes, too, like Cuba did.
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#5
Western countries embargoed the Eastern bloc - particularly regarding spare parts, so even if those airlines were able to buy an old western plane, they would lack access to spare parts, rendering any purchases pointless. I strongly believe that the game should reflect that and heavily tax the player who keeps western planes.

Czechoslovakia should become regarded as communist since 1948, which is when Communists took over. They began phasing western planes out almost immediately. Hungary, I believe, should also become communist only in 1948. Becoming communist meant that most western and Middle Eastern routes were cancelled almost overnight. Also, IIRC, there were two types of passport in the eastern bloc - those that allowed entry to capitalist states, and those that only permitted travel within the bloc. The first one was very difficult to obtain so passenger numbers going in that direction should be quite low.

EDIT: I checked online sources and apparently foreign travel was so restricted, that while in 1938 about 90,000 Poles left the country on tourist trips, only 181 did so in 1950. I imagine the situation being similar in other communist countries.
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#6
It's getting a bit OT, but with communist countries, it's important to remember that after the destalinisation thaw, more people were allowed to travel abroad. Most communist countries maintained routes to major European countries and even the U.S.
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