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Airlines Manager (Playrion) Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Maximize Your Profits and Expand Your Airline

Airlines Manager is an airline simulator developed by Playrion where you take the reins of a fledgling airline, ready to ferry people across the world. Whether you specialize in moving passengers or cargo, long-distance flights or short trips, this game lets you have full control on how your airline makes money. How do you plan to expand your empire? Will you start with a continent-spanning network right off the bat, or will you take it slowly and build your connections one step at a time?

airlines manager intro

Airlines Manager is very in-depth, basing its in-game mechanics on real-world airline institutions. For example, you will be training employees according to IATA standards and finding the right distribution of workers so that they can provide an even mix of benefits for your company. Outside of managing flights and workers, you will be assigning topics to your research team to further expand your airline’s reach, and also decide how you will treat your passengers. Do you value your profits, or is the customer’s own safety and comfort top priority? Will you try to maintain a balance between the two?

As you expand your fleet, planes will naturally accrue damage over their lifespan, and you will have to ground them to make necessary repairs, lest you want potential incidents from building up. Eventually some planes will get too old to remain in service. While you can do more thorough refurbishment to keep them airworthy for longer, you might have to find a replacement while the previous plane is retired from duty. Keep those flights scheduled and meet passenger demand, or you might end up having to take a loan or worse, face bankruptcy.

airlines manager new airline

Airlines Manager is very complex, and it can get very confusing to figure out what to do next. Luckily, our beginner’s guide will help you through the basics, and the game itself has its own help system in case you need a refresher course. So, sit back and relax as we take off into the world of Airlines Manager!

Speed or Realism?

airlines manager game start

When starting Airlines Manager for the first time, you are given the option of selecting either Tycoon Mode or Professional Mode. Each mode affects the flow of time, mainly affecting the travel time of your planes:

  • In Tycoon Mode, each hour in real life corresponds to seven hours in the game. This is recommended for new players, and comes with a battle pass system.
  • In Professional Mode, in-game flight hours are at a 1:1 ratio with real-time. This means that income will take far longer to generate, but it provides a more realistic depiction of what airline management is like. Of course, nothing beats real-world experience so do not try to use this game as proof that you can manage your own airline in real life!
airlines manager tycoon time

We selected Tycoon Mode for the sake of this guide. In addition, the game will recommend you make an account in order to save game progress across multiple devices, even on personal computers. This is optional, though the game will periodically remind you to make an account in exchange for extra money. Making an account is ultimately your decision to make. If you choose not to, a temporary “guest” account will be created for your current device.

After naming your account and selecting your avatar, the game will give your 300 million dollars in-game to get your fledgling airline off the ground, pun wholly intended. To start earning money, you have to set up your own flight plan:

airlines manager start hub
  • The first thing you will do is to buy an airport to serve as your “hub.” The available locations are based on real airports around the world. All available aircraft are sorted into categories from 1 to 10 based on how long the runway has to be for the selected plane to safely take off.

    For example, an airport whose runway can only support aircraft up to category 9 will be listed as “Category: 1 -> 9.” Any Category 10 aircraft your airline owns will not be able to land there. To keep things safe, select an airport that can comfortably support all 10 aircraft categories.
airlines manager runway
  • The second airport will serve as your airline’s first route, where you can assign a plane that can travel far enough to its destination, refuel, and return. The game will pull up a list of compatible aircraft for you to purchase, each with their own number of seats, fuel consumption, and rate of wear.
airlines manager first destination
  • After assigning or purchasing a plane for your route, the game will let you decide the ratio of Economy, Business Class, and First-Class seats on the plane itself, with a cap of each seating category. The game will automatically set ticket prices accordingly, which you can change later on to adapt to demand.
airlines manager class seating
  • The last thing you have to do for your flight plan is to schedule it. The game will display a calendar display showing a week, and all you have to do is drag the flight to any available timeslots. You can adjust flight availability later on if you wish.
airlines manager scheduling

Once everything is set up, your flight plan is ready to go, and your selected plane will load passengers and follow the route you set up. On the world map, you can see any flights handled by your airline, with planes flying along the routes if their schedules match up with the in-game date—this is listed directly below the map. Remember that the mode you selected before starting the game will determine how fast your aircraft makes it to your destination.

airlines manager world map

While the game’s tutorial wraps up after setting up your first flight, there are several game mechanics for you to explore, which can help maintain your airline and expand your business’s coverage. The game features a help system that can walk you through these mechanics, even linking you to a website dedicated for this purpose.

Airlines Manager also includes an “Agenda” system that serves as the game’s equivalent to daily quests, rewarding cash for completing them. There are even alliances you can join so that you can share your profits and achievements with other players.

airlines manager agenda

Research and Repairs

airlines manager admin page

Any airport needs workers to operate smoothly, and you can manage your workforce by selecting the Administration icon at the lower right corner of the screen, then selecting the Staff icon. At first your staff will be composed mainly of Agency Workers, who can fulfil any task your airline needs, but cannot specialize and have a higher salary compared to entry-level employees.

To rectify this, you have to hire them as proper employees via the Hiring Process button, where you can choose to hire a set number of Agency Workers to work under your Airline, turning them into proper employees.

airlines manager employment

This process is not enough, as these employees need to be given specializations to help improve your Airline. To do this, select the Training Process button in the Staff menu, and you can see how your current manpower is distributed.

When starting up, there will be no dedicated employees, but you can rectify that by training. Available jobs are split into five training fields, each with three specializations. We will just focus on the main fields to show what your employees will be up to:

airlines manager training
  • Airport Operations: Employees assigned here will tend to the airports, assist passengers, and ensure that the passengers enter and exit your airports safely.
  • Cargo: While you start out just ferrying people, you can research the ability to transport cargo to other airports. Employees assigned here will manage how the cargo is loaded and unloaded.
  • Ground Services: This category is for your airports’ ground crew, managing how planes move around the runway and which planes get sent to the hangar for repairs and maintenance.
  • Navigation Service Providers: Employees trained here will manage Air Traffic Control, directing flights and telling planes how to navigate the busy skies.
  • Management Division: You cannot keep track of every little detail by yourself, so you train employees with management skills to keep the proverbial gears of your airline turning smoothly.

Once training is complete, all employees start off as Entry Level workers. They can eventually be promoted to Professionals and then Managers. Each rank confers its own benefits to your airline, so you have to find a reasonable balance across all available positions to keep your airline at maximum efficiency.

airlines manager route management

If you feel a flight route is not making enough money, you can adjust the ticket prices or flight times by selecting the Network icon just above the Administration button and selecting the airport that the route originates from. From here you can rearrange flight schedules by selecting the Schedule Flights option and moving them around a calendar just like the start of the game.

Remember to keep in mind that all flights have a demand from Economy passengers all the way to First-Class, and too many planes assigned to a route can result in some planes with barely any passengers and losing money as a result.

airlines manager ticket prices

Ticket prices can be adjusted by selecting the Manage Prices option. While you can adjust these prices manually, the game also has the option to automatically adjust prices based on the current distribution of passenger classes via an audit. From there you can either validate the changes immediately or run a simulation first to see how the changes affect your profits.

As in real life, your fleet gradually experiences wear and tear as they perform their duties, impairing performance and causing incidents. From time to time you will have to perform maintenance on your fleet, or in some cases replace them altogether. You can access your fleet, consisting of both active planes and those in reserve, by selecting the Aircraft icon on the lower right corner of the screen.

airlines manager plane health

All planes have an “age” that determines how long they can remain airworthy before they have to be grounded for good. Most planes are only good for five years of service, and the older the plane is, the quicker it wears out. You can check the overall wear rate of your fleet by selecting the Maintenance Book icon.

This displays both the rate of wear across your entire fleet, and a breakdown of the ages of your planes. The game will even compare any flight incidents your airline has recorded with other players from around the world.

airlines manager plane repairs

Maintenance comes in two forms: Check A and Check D. Check A simply restores any wear the selected planes have accumulated over time, while Check D both restores wear and “reduces” the age in exchange for increased costs. The size of the plane also affects maintenance costs, with larger planes naturally costing more to repair, and smaller planes being cheaper to fix but more prone to incidents because of their size.

You can choose to repair individual planes or repair the whole fleet in one go. Eventually however, a plane is simply too expensive to maintain and can barely recoup its repair costs with several flights. In that case, you will be better off selling the plane and getting a new one.

Money is not just used to pay your workers and keep your fleet in top shape. It is also used to research new ways of customizing and improving your airline. The research menu is accessed via the same button used to access your staff.

To perform research, you need science points. These are obtained mainly through converting cash into science at a fixed rate, which you can adjust via a slider. This conversion happens daily. You can get science points by other means, but daily conversion will generally be your main source of it.

airlines manager research budget

Science also unlocks new models of aircraft to expand your fleet. There are five categories of research to look into, each with their own benefits:

airlines manager research topics
  • General: Research topics here typically revolve around bank loans, the amount of money converted into science points, and access to Cargo delivery, either by devoting a portion of a passenger plane for cargo or by purchasing dedicated aircraft for the purpose.
  • Services: Research topics in Services refers to various services your airline provides to your customers. These topics can be arranged in a scale between maximizing profits, or prioritizing passenger comfort. For example, in the case of food you can decide whether to give all your passengers just enough food to be sated, or to ensure that even your Economy-class passengers will eat like kings.
  • Aircraft: This research category not only unlocks new aircraft for purchase, but also improves how your fleet is maintained, such as reducing costs or simply slowing down the rate of decay, as well as discounts for buying new planes.
  • Cargo: Available only after researching Cargo delivery from General, this topic naturally controls how well cargo transfers pay out and other related bonuses.
  • Human Resources: As you can guess, Human Resources improves the efficiency of your workforce, and helps reduce training and hiring costs.

You can only research one topic at a time, and all research categories are divided into five tiers. To unlock the next tier of research you have to complete a set number of research topics in the current tier. That said, you get a bonus for researching all topics of a given tier, rewarding a thorough completion of the current tier’s topics as well.

Duty-Free Online Purchases

Airlines Manager has its own in-game store in order to purchase bonuses via microtransactions, though it also gives a free daily gift. Up to three gifts can be stored in the game, so do not forget to swing by to check what freebies the store has to offer.

airlines manager store ui

There are two premium currencies in Airlines Manager, each with its own uses:

  • AMCoins are used to speed up research, repairs, hiring, and training. They cannot speed up flights, especially on Professional mode.
  • TravelCards are exchanged for bonuses such as temporarily increased research speed, free audits, or exchanged directly into coins or science points.

Aside from premium bundles, the game has premium membership in the form of AM Gold, which offers additional bonuses and goodies in exchange for a monthly fee. Thankfully, AM Gold does not lock players out of any research topics, airports, or airplane models, so players can choose to ignore this if they are trying to save on money.

The game also has lootboxes in the form of Card Wallets, which come in four tiers: Economy, Finances, Platinum, and Epic, each offering more rewards per tier. All four can be purchased with TravelCards, but you do get one free Economy Wallet a day. These Wallets can confer various goodies such as lump sums of cash or science points, or bonuses normally obtained with TravelCards.

airlines manager lootboxes

Lastly, Airlines Manager has a slot machine you can use to gain a few more rewards before leaving the store. The slot machine uses tickets to operate, and while you can buy tickets with AMCoins, the game gives you a handful of free tickets each week, and you can get a couple more tickets by watching an ad.

Sky-High Profits

If you feel daunted by the various mechanics of Airlines Manager, do not worry as we have some tips for fledgling airline CEOs to start making profits:

airlines manager planes manager
  • Start off in Tycoon mode: Unless you really want to challenge your patience, select Tycoon mode when starting up. Flights take less time therefore you start earning money sooner as planes reach their destinations faster and take in more passengers.
  • It is okay to start small: If all of this feels overwhelming, starting off with just a couple of flights can help you get a handle of the more in-depth mechanics of Airlines Manager. Completing the tutorial gives you one plane, and there is no guarantee that the free offerings at the store will give you additional planes for service.
  • Know which planes are best suited for your route: All planes have maximum ranges that dictate how far they can travel before having to refuel. As a rule, the smaller the plane, the shorter its maximum range, so while the game will filter planes accordingly, try to select the plane whose range fits best.
  • Keep your scientists busy: Unless you are short on science points, always have a research topic at the ready to keep R&D’s hands full. In this way you, can improve your airline’s efficiency and figure out what services to specialize in, filling in any deficiencies with your employees. Do not forget to allot a budget so that points are regularly generated.
  • Do not forget your employees: Remember, all new airlines start off using agency workers, who have larger salaries and cannot specialize. Hire your first batch of employees and get them into training as soon as you can. That way they can provide bonuses to your airline.
  • Maintenance check: Your aircraft are not eternal and over time, will start showing their age. Make it a habit to check on your fleet and make necessary repairs before they build up and start causing incidents. In some cases, you might need to replace the plane wholesale if you cannot reliably pay back a Check D maintenance.
  • Today’s agendas, tomorrow’s funds: Remember that agendas can be completed for extra cash, which can help get just enough money to purchase that new plane you have been angling to get.
airlines manager store freebies
  • Consult the in-game guide: If all else fails, the game has help system at the ready to instruct you on unfamiliar topics. You are even free to deviate from the system if you understand the task sooner than expected. Either way, the game lets you return to it if needed.

And that concludes our guide to Airlines Manager. We hope that our guide was sufficient in teaching the basics and showing what you can expect from the game. If you have any tips or suggestions we may have missed, please let us know in the comment area! Good luck, and game on!


Thursday 25th of August 2022

What is the maximum allowances of A/C. Is it in ttl 130 or 130 for each hub?