Flight Contracts - My thoughts on the next steps

I’m having an absolute ball playing Airport CEO, and I think the whole contracts system is well thought out and serves the game brilliantly. But I’ve had a think about how the flight contracts can be improved to become (I think) a bit more realistic and hopefully add some more depth to the game. I appreciate that getting the bugs sorted is a priority, but I’ve been having a think about how the contracts can be changed when the time comes.

At the moment, we have get essentially random contracts from airlines for a random number of flights to random destinations. We take each contract contract as an all-or-nothing thing. Let’s have a look at a real in-game contract that I’ve just accepted for my airport (serving Elgin, near Aberdeen). The contract in question is a “medium” contract from SkyLink and requires me to schedule 16 one-off flights. Here’s what I have.

2xCRJ700 to Bari
1xB737-600 to Riyadh
1xBAE146 to Gatwick
3xCRJ700 to Munich
2xB737-600 to Tenerife South
2xBAE146 to Tenerife South
1xBAE146 to Heathrow
1xB737-600 to Heathrow
1xB737-600 to Malaga
1xBAE146 to Malaga
1xBAE146 to Basel

All of these flights are of course once-off rotations, and in order to take them I need to take all of them. Of course, in reality airlines don’t operate in this manner. Most airlines will offer scheduled flights on a recurring basis (I know recurring flights are in the pipeline), and each route would most likely be operated on a separate contract, allowing the airline to add and drop routes at will.

So here’s what I would propose.

One-off flights can still exist (charters do of course happen), but we’ll get more scheduled flights from the airlines that recur. Let’s look at the above example, and say that Munich becomes a three-times weekly flight for the year rather than just three flights, which could currently all be scheduled to fly within 5 mins of each other. An example contract might be:

SkyLink would like to start direct flights from your airport to Munich. SkyLink propose operating one flight a day to Munich on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays only using a CRJ-700 aircraft. Each flight requires one medium stand and two check-in desks.

Each individual route would be a separate contract. This would increase the number of contracts needed, but since we’re looking at recurring flights I don’t think it would be much more overall. Assuming the flights I have above would be recurring flights, this would break it down to eight smaller contracts. I think it would still reduce the burden of the contracts though, because we’re not reliant on picking up new flights every single day. By picking a smaller number of flights at a time, I think we also get more flexibility in planning, and it could lead to a more gradual and realistic growth for our airports.

Each airline would only offer one contract for each route at a time. Once we’ve taken our hypothetical Munich flight, SkyLink wouldn’t offer a repeat contract. We’d fly the route for them over the course of the year. At the end of the year the contract would expire, and if SkyLink were happy with us they could offer a further contract. It might be worth sending an e-mail for renewals along the lines of:

Your contract with SkyLink for flights to Munich is coming to an end, SkyLink are keen to continue the route from your airport, click here to view the proposed new contract".

If things are going well, maybe the flight can become more frequent or schedule a larger aircraft. If the airline is unhappy, they could drop frequencies or deploy a smaller plane or not even continue with the route. This would probably lead to individual airlines having their own opinions of your airport, which in turn could perhaps lead to some airlines opening bases at your airport (all things to be implemented much further down the line of course, but this may be a step in the right direction).

I think this kind of approach would be beneficial. It removes the burden of us manually scheduling every single day’s flights. It removes the burden of us needing to check for contracts every single day to fill our schedule. At the same time, it gives us more flexibility over flights (we can take one extra flight a day rather than a block of 16), it gives us more interest in the route network our airport generates, it could allow us to build deeper relationships with airlines and operate our airport in a more realistic manner. I’m sure the devs already have an idea as to where the contracts are going, but these are just my thoughts and I’d be interested to hear what other think of this, or how you’d go about changing the flight contract system (if at all).


I agree. At the moment, I find it rather tedious to have to continually schedule flights. I’d rather schedule once and then deal with my infrastructure.


I shall break out the powerpoint I made a month ago when I have access to it :stuck_out_tongue:

I am having a great time playing ACEO, but it does get a bit tedious scheduling flights every [game] day.

Technically, any airport in the game does not handle scheduled services - every airport so far is just a charter airport - with a lot of chartered flights each day.

I really like your example with Skylink, and I do agree that they should operate on differing days, considering I have 6 flights departing to Heathrow one day, followed by none the next.

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I agree with this solution. Besides performance issues, the most tedious is scheduling 14 or 15 flights per airline every other day. I would rather the contract call for scheduling say 4 flights, but they all may or may not recur, and the terms say to maintain a certain airline or pax satisfaction rating, or % ontime departures or something.

I think this sounds like the best way to move forward with flight planning. Just having simple boundaries on contracts that can be renewed. I also think that check in desks should be linked to certain stands. This way we can have separate zones for check in’s when it comes to larger flights. No need for the long queues on flights that only have 15 pax.

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You can pseudo link stands to check in desks via the baggage system. I have a baggage bay linked to 2 stands and 4 check-in desks. All flights for those stands, check in via those four desks.

Yeah indeed, this area need a redo, so we get proper scheduels and don’t need to remake all time.
Should be winter summer program like and airlines open routes on by one and seek slots for them and we approve or denye.

This is my biggest frustration minus the little bugs that are being worked out and at an amazing pace, so well done devs. I agree, to the previous posts to have several options:

One-off flights (charters)
Short-Term Contracts (1 month to 6 months)
Long-Term Contracts (6 months to 1 year)

I feel like for an airport to be desirable to longer-term contracts, that it should offer more amenities, like restaurants, shops, VIP lounges, dedicated services, catering, maintenance, etc. This would help with a long game where you would work to acquire long-term contracts with large airlines, and the premium jumbo jets.

We know the devs are going to change it at some point. Main focus is killing the buggies first. Then new content

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I would suggest there be a Automatice Flight Scheduling! assigning 16 flights is a little mundane haha


I am sorry I have to say this, but this has been requested like 20 times by now, please use the search function!


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