07 March 2009

End of the Experiment

I decided to shut down my simulated airline business.

I'm looking a lot like United Airlines - too much so for comfort. It's September 2000, and the fuel prices, which had tripled in the past year, are hammering me. I had brought in tons of 747s to expand my international network and add to my profits, but now they will eat up my cash reserves instead. I don't have a strong regional network to make up for it (it simply cannot be done from Seoul, while it's much easier from Beijing, Hong Kong, or Tokyo). The only difference is that I actually treated my employees better, and that I am in no danger of a strike. (In fact, I'll be liquidating my airline while it still has 700 million dollars in value - so that my 20,000 employees will have a generous severance package.) But I will be going out of business in a few more months of game time anyway.

In any case, I had a good chance to look into the industry's mentality, and to understand Sarah's corporate bosses a bit better. Indeed, United did very well when its network was limited to North America, and its costs were well within reason. It's the botching of the international expansion (too aggressive, too careless) that hammered United around 2000. In any case, the more I understand Sarah's employer (which also is the airline I know the best and fly the most), the more realistic Sarah's work environment gets, and that should keep me happy.

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