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Hi all,
I've made this guide to show you everything you'll need to know about making an airline successfully on CA - whether it be cargo, passenger, improvements, contracts, I've got you covered Wink Although a few notices first....

WARNING: This guide does not apply to airlines who would like to copy a real airline, this guide is designed to get you rich in ratings and money as quickly as possible!

WARNING: I am not intending to make this guide for following strenuously. These are only tips and advice to point you in the right direction. It's your airline, so you can do what you like with it!

WARNING: Creating an airline isn't easy. It is important to remember you won't be rich and famous straight away. You'll have to work hard for it. Now trust me on this, if you keep working hard, eventually, the big money WILL come, and it will come thick! Big Grin

Okay, that's the warning's out of the way, now let's get onto the actual guide!


- Golden Rules
- Which Aircraft?
- Tips
- Avoid List

Passenger - Regional
- Golden Rules
- Which Aircraft?
- Tips
- Local Aircraft

Passenger - Medium Range
- Golden Rules
- Which Aircraft?

Passenger - Long Range
- Golden Rules
- Which Aircraft? + Guide to Purchasing Aircraft
- Tips

Other Info.
- Other Tips
- Guide to Purchasing Used Aircraft
- Tips for finding Routes
- Guide to Purchasing Improvements
- Guide to Contracts



MC's Golden Rule's to Cargo Routes:
1) Regional Cargo? Fly 1290-1300km routes.
2) Medium Range? Fly 3900km-4000km routes.
3) MD-11? or 777F? Fly Med range during the day, longest flight during night.

These three rules will last you all your CA life, so remember them!

Which Aircraft?
You can experiment with aircraft if you like, however the best way to grow is using the following aircraft:

ATR-42F --> ATR-72F (optional) --> An-12 --> Il-76/A300F --> 757-200F --> MD-11F --> 777F --> An-124 --> An-225.

ATR42F and An-12 = These aircraft are good to you no matter what, as long as you stick to the 1,300km rule. If you have to fly long, then only do it with the An-12, but always go back to 1300km.

Il-76/A300F = ONLY fly 1300km, try to log on every 2 hours or so and you will be flying! If you have to fly long, then only do so with the Il-76.
Tip: Don't bother buying a sparkling new A300F if you don't have the money. Get a dirt cheap, high-km one of the broker/used market. Your only flying 1,300km routes, so range isn't a problem. Only purchase newer ones if it eventually grows too slow and messes up your schedule.

757-200F = Due to it's lovely low fuel consumption and high min range, the only place you can fly this dude is the 3,900km-4000km range. Should bring in some very decent bucks and ratings!

MD-11F/777F = During the day, remember to fly 4,000km routes, not over! If you have extra time, only fly 5,400km+. When night falls, fly the LONGEST possible route.

An-124/An-225 = These are the king's. Fly 3900-4000km routes, and fly until either the range drops to 4000 or it grows too slow. These beauties repay themselves many times, so after getting this, don't bother replacing it with anything else. (try not to linger on the An-124 too long, get the -225 as soon as possible!) Also, if you're a small airline and don't have enough money to purchase new, get yourself a dirt cheap An-225 off the used market. Since its sweet spot is the 4,000km range, and its max. range is 6,500km, it'll have to be pretty highly used to have a max. range short of its sweet sport!

Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. Upgrading is the way forward here. Always try to upgrade your fleet whenever you have the opportunity. The only aircraft you may want to keep a little longer may be the workhorses, such as the A300F and An-225.

Lease, lease, lease. When you can't purchase, you lease. Always try to have the max 3 lease limit, as long as the aircraft can pay off its lease. Leasing is a great way to expand, as you might only be able to afford an ATR, but still be flying a 777F!

Quick now. A great thing about cargo is that you don't have to be a super-active-log-on-every-30-mins person. However, to grow, fast turnarounds and multiple flights are key.

Expensive juice! If you start flying the big fuel consumpters, such as the 777F and the Antonov's, a good rule of thumb is to fly to cheap fuel destinations, that is if you don't have a scheduled route. Always aim for under $2 per litre.

Keep 'em in the air! No matter what, keep flying, and avoid anything that stops you doing so. That includes very bad weather (drizzle doesn't count, of course) and repair groundings. Always repair your aircraft every few flights to avoid being grounded.

Improve with Improvements!
Purchase as many improvements as you can, when you can. Not so much that you don't get any aircraft of course. However these improvements will come in very handy later on. Try to avoid the fuel cost improvements unless your flying a Concorde.

Home sweet home! Your HQ/hub is home, always try to fly into it! (not literally, please!) Not only do you get great bonuses in loads, but the tasty repairs discount makes it a great stopover for repairs.

Research does work!
Try to research before adding new routes/aircraft. For routes, make good use of the distance and earnings calculators. For aircraft, look at other aircraft in it's range and compare to see if another is better. When purchasing used aircraft, make sure you also consider how much KM it has logged, as this may come to your disadvantage when flying, no matter how cheap it is!

The Not So Great...
While these aircraft aren't terribly bad, I recommend you consider other options since they aren't the best. (In brackets) are the possible alternatives.
L-100 (get An-12 instead)
767-300F (get MD-11 or 757F instead)
A330-200F (get MD-11 or 757F instead)
Il-114T (get ATR42F instead)

Most of the above are on this list because they have fuel consumptions which do not fit with it's cargo capacity and how much money it brings in, sometimes ending up in negative flights.

Well, that is pretty much it! It is good to stay cargo-only until you have enough money to enter the passenger market. After your making the high-money thru cargo, start purchasing passenger aircraft to keep up the rating's, however always keep some good cargo routes as a reliable source of income!


Most of us started off with regional, and chances are the vast majority of airlines have (or are) flown/flying regional passenger aircraft. It's a great way to start off, especially if you have more time, however there are a few things you need to know about it so that you don't end up with bad results.

Golden Rules to Regional PAX:
1) Always, always, fly under 900km.*
2) Turnaround flights as fast as you can.
3) Try to stock up on improvements (ignore the min load for now though)
4) Always keep some good cargo routes as a reliable source of income, since PAX isn't great for making money.
5) Try to purchase not lease. (lease cargo instead)

Why fly under 900km? It's the optimal range for regional pax. If you can fly under 400km, that's even better. However, there may be a few exceptions to this rule. For example, less active 737-200, An-148, MD-90 and 727-200 users may risk longer flights. However, 900km is definitely the safest, most profitable range for regional.

Which Aircraft?
There are plenty of great regional aircraft, and there are also a few you may want to stay away from. Here are the tried and tested aircraft which are almost guaranteed success:

Starting off..... Dash 8 Q400, An-148.
Still new.....MRJ70, BAe 146, ACARC. (although I haven't tried the last two)
Getting better....MRJ90LR, 737-200adv, ERJ-190
The Best! MD-90, 727-200, DC9-40.

Again, your welcome to test other aircraft, however always read the specs and analyse the aircraft. Too high fuel usage? Low cargo capacity? Poor value? Then forget it...

737-200adv vs ERJ190
I've been asked about this before, and it is a question on the lips of many. While most of the time it boils down to preference, both are great aircraft however one may be better for you than the other.

The ERJ190 tends to perform better of the two if you have little improvements or if you are flying under 900km frequently with quick turnarounds.

The 737-200adv tends to perform better if you have more improvements or if you want to fly longer routes.

However, also consider the MRJ90LR, which provides almost as good results for a cheaper price!

Improvements, yet again! Improvements help alot to bring in more revenue and rating. First off start with the ticket price improvements, and leave the maximum/minimum passenger improvements for later on.

Quick now! Short turnarounds and quick flights are the key to success. If you are active, try to turn around flights as many times as you can. If you are less active, try out aircraft which are more suitable for longer ranges, such as the An-148, 737-200, MD-90 and 727-200.

Tip top condition! Always repair your aircraft when they get to 97%, since not only are you in danger of being grounded after that, but you will also suffer a drop in loads and thus revenue and rating.

Local Aircraft
Want to fly local? Well, this post pretty much sums up all you need to know.

(09-19-2011 09:53 PM)bobairlines878787 Wrote: [ -> ]Beechcraft 1900 on the shortest possible flights. There, now you have a local guide.

Good Luck!

Medium Range
Eventually, your airline will expand, and regional may no longer be sufficient to keep you going. This is where medium range starts to come in. Not only does it require less time, but it often provides more revenue and rating, helping you to grow like never before!

Golden Rules to Medium Range:
1) Always fly 4,000km-6,000km.
2) Always try to fly to low ranked slots. Aim for under #300.

Well, that's it really. Simple!

Which Aircraft?
Starting off....CS300ER, Concorde (!)
Getting better....A319/737-800/737-900/ER/A320/A321
The BEST! A300, 787-3, Concorde (!)

Handle with caution! If you don't get it right with this bird then she will not treat you well. Firstly, and most importantly, get almost ALL THE PASSENGER AND FUEL IMPROVEMENTS! It's incredible how many newbies get badly stung when they get lured in by the Concorde's low price. If you don't get improvements, it won't work. Now, fly the usual 4,000km-6,000km range, making sure to turnaround quickly. Since it has a low price, buying a full fleet of it can also bring good results, and awesome ratings!

The reason why I have listed all of these is that they are all great aircraft, and all perform well. Again, this boils down to preference, budget and whether your an Airbus or Boeing fan Wink

In my opinion, and other members will know this since I have said it so many times, the A300 is the best medium range passenger aircraft in the game for it's money. Same profit as the 787-3, more range and half the price, 2 A300s easily outweigh one 787-3. I only recommend the 787-3 if you have mega money and have already bought all the aircraft you want, such as the case for the mega 1,000+ rating airlines.

Tips? There isn't really anything else to say. Include all the cargo/regional tips where possible, such as quick turnarounds etc, and make sure to repair after every flight!

Long Range
OK, so you've flown regional, your successful in medium range, and by now you're a mega-rich airline getting mega-big ratings. Think you're doing well? Then welcome to long range - BIG revenues, and BIG ratings!

Golden Rules to Long Range:
1) During the day, fly Medium Range (up to 6,000km)
2) If not - fly just under 9,000km.
3) And when you got the time, fly the LONGEST flight possible!

Take your pick between these. If you're not very active during the day, consider flying 9,000km instead. Got a long overnight slot? Fill it up with an ultra-long haul flight, and wake up to a tasty treat!

Which Aircraft?

OK, by now, you should be a successful airline who can make decisions for themselves. The great thing about long-haul is that it's very flexible - there's different aircraft to suit different needs. So in this section, I'm not going to tell you which aircraft, I'm going to let you decide. And here is how:

Guide to Selecting and Purchasing Aircraft.

There are 116 aircraft in the game - some are good, some are bad, some just sit somewhere inbetween. A key skill to being a successful airline is being able to choose between aircraft suiting your airline's needs.

Do you need?

The range?
The seat's?
The cargo?
The speed?

Look above - see which criteria fit's you. See what is most important to you - and scan the aircraft list for that perfect aircraft. Especially with long range - where purchases can cost well over $100 million, you need to make an informed decision. Also use the Compare Aircraft and Earning Calculator tool's if you're stuck between two aircraft - or alternatively, lease them for 3 day's to see which work's best for you.

So now, you should be a pro when it comes to purchasing aircraft. There are a few gems in the market, like the 777-200LR and the A380 - but they could be pants for your airline if they don't fit your criteria.

Tips for LR:

Tip top condition! Repair your aircraft after every flight (every two flights at the max) - the cost may be a little high but it's worth it!

Rubbish rankings are GOOD! An airport being rank #982 and in the middle of nowhere isn't rubbish - it's PERFECT! Always fly to airport's with low ranks (aim for under #300) and with little airlines based there. If you want to model a real airline and fly to popular (high ranked) airports then go ahead - see yourself struggle with revenue and rating at Heathrow Wink

Expensive juice...again...As your aircraft grow bigger - the fuel cost tends to do the same. Watch out for inefficient aircraft, that is aircraft which have little seats compared to fuel cost (the A380 is very efficient considering how much seats it holds) and always try to fly from airports with low fuel prices, especially if you're about to trek on an ultra-long-haul flight.

Same old, same old. Keep the other tip's you've learnt already - such as fast turnarounds, avoiding delays and purchasing improvements - they'll come in handy!


Other tips:
One of the most valuable tips which I have not covered is a very useful tool in game. Yep, the Quick Flight Option.

I can't stress how much this has helped me. Not only does it mean you can turn your flights around quicker, it helps build a schedule for flying, helps quick and frequent turnarounds, and is great if you pick the right routes.

How to use it:
1) Firstly, find a good route for your aircraft. Make sure it consists of more than 2 destinations to fly between, since if one destination has got poor weather/high fuel costs, you can go to an equally as good route without having to search around the Possible Routes page!
2) Add your route by going onto your fleet page in Airline Information, and clicking this icon[Image: script_edit.png]. Add in your destinations and your done!
3) Now you will see a drop-down box under the aircraft in your Routes Information page. Select your destination, and off you go!

Tips for Buying used aircraft:
Sometimes we may not have the money for a sparkling new aircraft, which is where used aircraft come in. I always check the market for good deals or bargains before I purchase a new aircraft. However, keep these things in mind to avoid being ripped off:

- Is it worth it? Alot of used aircraft are advertised as being millions off new price, however often these do not include alliance purchase discounts. If your alliance has the purchase discount, then there may be no point of purchasing used aircraft.

- Too high KM?
Sometimes, there are low km, low price gems on the market. Most times, there are high km, low price aircraft. Know the difference!

Remember, if you are flying long routes, and the aircraft has high km logged, then it may be a better option to purchase new.

Tips for finding routes
First, find out what the optimal range is for your aircraft. I've written them all for you above. Now, go to the Distance Calculator page, and enter the range from your chosen slot.

For example, if I wanted a route for my An-225, I would put the minimum distance of 3,900km and the maximum at 4,000km. Hit search and find your routes!

Remember to go onto 'Search by Distance' tab on the calculator and-

Remember to try to purchase low-ranked slots rather than higher ranked slots if you are flying passenger. Also consider weather, since the weather system on Cyber Airlines is real-world, flying into Canada during Winter would probably provide more weather delays than flying into Central America.

Guide to purchasing Improvements
Improvements are a great way to increase your revenue, loads and ratings without purchasing new aircraft. I recommend every airline to purchase improvements when they can, however please remember, if you still have a small fleet and have little income, purchase aircraft instead!
Expanding your fleet should always take priority, since it's pointless to have a small fleet but an abundance of improvements. However, when you have a decent fleet and have a little spare cash, improvements should be the first thing you click onto. They'll help you massively, not just for now but in the future too, but you need to be wary of what you pick if you want the best results.

Which improvements to buy - the lazy guy's way:
Are you a lazy-ass, and can't be bothered to do technical working out? Stick to these rule-of thumbs of what are your priorities, and you should be OK.

Small-scale regional passenger: first two ticket pricing.
Large-scale regional passenger: another ticket pricing, cargo pricing.
Small-scale medium passenger: first two ticket pricing, fuel cost, cargo pricing.
Large-scale medium passenger: another ticket pricing, cargo pricing, fuel cost, public relations, minimum passenger.
Small-scale long range passenger: first three ticket pricing, cargo pricing, fuel cost, public relations, minimum passenger.
Large-scale long range passenger: all ticket pricing, cargo pricing, fuel cost, public relations, minimum passenger.
Cargo: Buy cargo improvements whenever you can. The cargo pricing improvements are better, however they are more expensive so don't go for them if you only are running a lone ATR with low income. Aim for all the cargo improvements by the time you start operating 4 or more An-225's.

Guide to purchasing improvements - the technical, accurate way:
The above are very vague guidelines of what your priorities are, here I will show you a more accurate way which will show you which improvements will work and won't work for YOUR airline. Warning - it does involve a bit of maths. (shame on the 90% of people who instantly become not interested) Tongue

Look at your fleet and the lazy guide to find out what type of improvements you are looking for. The more you narrow it down, the less maths are involved, so use your common sense and leave out say the passenger improvements if you run a cargo-only fleet. Now, take a look at the first improvement that you haven't purchased. Always buy the small ones first and build up to the biggun's when you have more income.

In this example, say I have a cargo fleet of 2 42F's and 2 A300F's, producing an average revenue of $2million per day, and I don't own any improvements before-hand.

I have enough for the first cargo pricing, so let's take a look at that. It will increase my total revenue by 10%, so:

2 000 000 + (10%) = 2 200 000, an increase of 200 000.

(total profit) / (percentage increase) = (revenue increase)

(revenue increase) - (daily cost) = (accumulative gain)

The daily cost is 84 000, so the accumulative gain is 116 000 per day. I should go ahead and get this improvement!

So if the accumulative gain is greater than the daily cost, it is something you could purchase. If it isn't, then stay away for now.

In another scenario, say I have a regional passenger fleet with a daily revenue of only $100 000.

I want to purchase the first ticket pricing improvement, which will increase my revenue by 2%, so do the same formula:

2% of 100 000 = 2 000

2 000 - 17 500 (daily cost) = -15 500

I'll end up with a $15,500 loss every day, so I should not purchase the improvement.

It's simple, if the increase in revenues is greater than the daily cost, get it, if not, leave it for now. That's it!

Guide to Contracts

First of all, the most valuable tip I have to give you is before you hit that 'Get Contract' button, think to yourself, can I do it? Calculate it thoroughly, double check everything, don't go for contracts you can't do.

But 'how do I know if I'm ready?' - I hear you ask. Let me tell you.

For Cargo:

For each aircraft you are going to fly on the contract, find out it's average cargo load per flight. This can be rough, or you can work it out exactly, up to you. To be on the safe side, take this figure and * it by 0.75. You can change this figure, giving you more/less of a safety margin.

Say I'm taking a small-size regional contract into City C. I have two aircraft running on this, with an average capacity of approx. 15,000KG.

15,000*0.75 = 11,250

Now find the average flights per day of each aircraft^, again rough, and again *0.75 (round it if its decimal)

20*0.75 = 15

^ if you definitely know you will be flying more during the contract, use that figure instead.

Now, times the two numbers individually by how much of those aircraft you own which will operate on the contract. Times the two answers together, and half.

11,250*2 = 22,500
15*2 = 30

22,500*30 = 675,000
675,000/4 = 168,750

And finally, times the final figure by 7, and this will give you the approximate expected KG carried by the end of the contract.

168,750*7 = 1,181,250 KG

If you really want to be on the safe side, you can multiply by 0.9 or lower, depending on how anxious you are. Now, compare this figure with the required cargo, if you pass, then go ahead and take the contract! If you fail, then try improve your cargo output before taking it.

For Passenger
For Passenger, do exactly the same, but use approx. passengers per flight instead of cargo.

Important Note:
This method only works if you will continue flying as much or more than before, with a small safety margin created by * by 0.75. If you'll be inactive during the contract, this method is invalid. But then common sense should prevail, I mean, who takes a contract before they go on holiday?

How does that work?
One of those people who don't like using methods without knowing exactly how it works? OK, I'll go through it all with you.

I used approx cargo/passenger per flight and average flights per day for obvious reasons, calculating the average cargo/passenger carried per day and per week. I then divided this by 0.75 to allow for sudden rough-patches during the contract, if you're feeling confident, go ahead and raise this figure.

I then * this figure by the amount of the same aircraft to see the amount of cargo/passengers carried per day by the fleet working on the contract. If you are using different types of aircraft, calculate the average loads per day individually and then add together.

I then divide the figure by 4 - remember that you only want to count the cargo/passengers going TO the Contract City, not away. I made that mistake before... Blush

Then I * by 7 because the previous figure is cargo/passenger output per day, since you get a week to complete a contract, you * by 7 for the total output going to the Contract City. Voila, you now have the expected output, you can now see whether or not you're expected to pass!

How to DO the Contact

You've calculated everything and you're ready to go. Now, lets see the best way of actually DOING the contract! Now, remember, you can't fly from the same city twice to the cargo contract. So you can't go A-B-A-B, there has to be a C inbetween. My method, if done correctly, should overcome this issue:
  • Don't do it with a single aircraft - use at least 2 or more.
  • Base each aircraft at a different city, close by to the Contact City, but not underneath the aircraft's minimum range.
  • Try making the routes of similar length. Now fly each aircraft from its base to the Contract City, one after the other. If you're routes are of similar length, the aircraft you took off first should land first, then the other, then the first, then the other, so you'll never get in bother with the 'Never twice from the same city' problem.
  • Everything else is common sense, just repeat the process, and fly as much as possible!

That's it! Do it all correctly and you'll find yourself with the rewarding pride of completing a contract, and not to mention the prize money you'll tuck into! Smile

Here you'll find all the external files and links related to the guide, or anything else that I think you'll find useful. Virus free and plenty of Vitamin C, of course.

- The Official A4 Quick Reference Sheet - summarising all you need to know about cargo and passenger and more in a handy A4 sheet, which if you're really dedicated can print out and impress your friends with. Click here for it!

- The Official A5 Quick Reference Sheet - summarising everything from the A4 sheet in an even more handy A5 sheet, which if you're really dedicated, can stick to your computer and impress your friends with. (Still Under Development)

- tomle's excel-based cargo earnings calculator, useful for comparing how two different cargo aircraft perform with different loads. Set for A300F/Il-76 comparison, however can be edited to include any two cargo aircraft by changing the stats. Click here for it!

And so that's it for my guide (so far). I may add more things in the future, so if you think there is something I have missed, or something that you would like explaining or something that new airlines should know that I haven't covered - then please comment below!

Comments, advice, criticism, feedback - it's all appreciated, so please do leave some comments telling me if my advice helped, if it worked/didn't work, and if there is anything you think I should improve/add on.

Hope I helped, and, happy flying! Smile


Other Notes:
- This is not an official guide, I'll never claim it to be one unless I gain the special permission by Admin to do so.
- If there is anything else you want to ask me about, you can drop a comment below or send me a PM on the forums or in-game.
- I will never willingly post ill-advice, however if you find something that is a little off or not correct, please do alert me of it.
- You'll find plenty of other opinions of how to go about making an airline. Some people prefer different techniques, this doesn't mean their way of doing it or my way of doing it is wrong. What I can assure you of is that everything I post is tried and tested for the optimal performance.
- I can guarantee that all figures (such as ranges) have been checked against the Game Calculations.
- Please not that the site is not compatible with some old browsers, namely Internet Explorer 6,7 and 8, and possibly Firefox 3 and Opera 10.
- I cannot be held liable for any bouts of depression caused by the overly-cheesy title of this thread (;
ATR-42F --> ATR-72F (optional) --> An-12 -->A310-200F --> Il-76/A300F --> 757-200F --> MD-11F --> 777F --> An-124 --> An-225.
Sorry, I'm not too much of a fan of the A310F. It's fuel usage is too high compared to its capacity. But that depend's on preference.
Nice Advise! I like it! Anyone reading this and wondering when they can finally start passenger service, just remember if you tough out the beginning for your airline with Cargo, money will start arriving quickly and passenger service can soon start. Good Luck!
I remember I started passenger service 2 weeks after I started.
Great guide MC, thanks.
Great guide MC! However you said for regional, fly 12900-1300. You might want to change that.
lol.. i like this i might do a pax lese guide
(04-09-2011 02:52 PM)jleonnn Wrote: [ -> ]Great guide MC! However you said for regional, fly 12900-1300. You might want to change that.

Whoops! Thanks for spotting that Smile
EDIT: A few spelling mistakes and errors fixed.
No prob! Smile
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