In the game, which is essentially the same as its predecessor, the player is the CEO of a start-up international airline. The player competes with three other such companies (either AI-controlled or other players) for dominance in the worldwide travel industry. Such dominance is obtained by purchasing slots in various airports around the world, and flying routes to and from those slots. Once a route is created, the player has control of what type of planes fly the route, the price of airfare, and numerous other variables.
The game includes numerous historical events that can help or hinder airline performance. Four different eras of play available for the player to choose. They include 1955–1975 (which depicts the dawn of jet airplanes), 1970–1990 (which depicts a period of unstability, oil crises, and the end of the Cold War), 1985–2005 (which depicts the present day of economic prosperity and relative stable peace), and 2000–2020 (which depicts the replacement of jet planes with supersonic airplanes, the European Union extending to Russia, and countries trying to get airlines to fund alternative fuel research).
Airlines must be able to achieve the goals assigned to them within 20 years; only one airline can achieve this victory with no draws permitted. If none of the airlines can achieve the goal, then all airlines lose because stalemates are not permitted at the end of the game. Tiebreakers are also not permitted because games are not usually designed to be in ties at the end of the 20-year contest. In the rare instance that all airlines go bankrupt simulatenously, then all airlines would also lose.
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