Airline is a nice German business simulation where you try to build up and expand your airline worldwide. At the start you can either decide if you want to start a new company, expand an existing one or wish to bring an unprofitable airline back on the winning track.
You can either buy new or used planes or lease them for a monthly fee. There are many different planes available - from small Fokkers to huge Jumbo Jets all real and known types can be found with their respective stats (passengers, fuel usage, range, crew,...). The planes have to be maintained regularly. The longer you choose the intervals to be the more time you have for flights but the status of the plane will deteriorate quickly and vice versa. You also need quite some personnel: pilots and copilots (and navigators on older models), stewards and ground crew. You can offer them some bonuses which makes them more motivated and skilled and reduces the occasions where you have to take over their work. The flight crew are trained for certain plane models. In case they don't know how to fly the planes you have you can send them back to the academy.
For places to fly to you have to buy landing rights on airports. You can choose from all major airports across the world. Their difference lies in the amount of traffic and equally important the length of the runway. Some of them are too short for big planes to land, for example you can't land on Mallorca with a Jumbo Jet. A good start would be to choose five major European airports like Frankfurt, Paris, London, Rome and Madrid, because they're close together and yield lots of charter offers.
The most important screen is your flight coordination board. Here you see all charter offers made to you. They can last from one to eight months. Clicking the little arrow left of them and then “InfoAuftrag” will let you have a closer look at the conditions: how many passengers, minimum range of the plane, expected service... If everything fits you can make an offer for that charter by clicking this arrow again and that the arrow besides the plane you want to give the charter to. You can then decide how much money you're going to charge for it. If it's reasonable you'll be able to deliver it and make cash this way. When you've been successful for some time you're allowed to create your own routes by determining arrival and departure airports, the number of seats, the ticket prices and for how many months you want to offer this schedule. But it's really hard to find a profitable balance there so you better save first and check your line in the income column of the balance screen.
The more landing rights you have and the more successful and reliable you are, the more charter offers you get. You always have to watch out that no charters collide with the maintenance breaks of your planes otherwise you'll have to pay a hefty fine. Older planes need more maintenance or they won't be allowed to fly if their status is too bad (=> the next fine). Quite often you have to step in yourself in little action scenes (reminds a bit of Ports of Call), where you have to move various ground vehicles to ready your plane for takeoff make a course correction or (the hardest one) do a proper landing. Everything's controlled via the keyboard and there's not too much time to look around in these scenes. But after some time you're used to it and after some time they can get quite annoying...
Up to 4 human players can participate in the game, though no computer opponents are allowed. 3 different levels and the various starting preferences can provide some challenge. While the game has some nice features (many plane models, lots of airports...) it can get a bit repetitive after you've finally made it to the profitable side of the road. But still it's a decent business simulation which I strangely play every here and then even today.