A branch is an office located in a city that can be contacted by phone for passenger order flights and (in the case of Airline Tycoon Deluxe) cargo order flights that originate from or the destination of which is the city where the branch is located. Your Home Airport automatically qualifies as a "branch" in the game because it provides passenger and cargo order flights. This is reflected in your airline's statement of cash flows (see Toolbar), where "rent for branches" is a non-zero value at the beginning of the game when your airline has no external branches. There are no branches in Airline Tycoon 2.
To gain access to branches, you must either bid on them or co-operate with competitors to gain access to their branches.
Bidding on BranchesEdit
You can bid on branches every day that they're available in Mr. Uhrig's office. Like any auction, the highest bidder by the end of the day (at 6pm) will win exclusive rights to the order flights available at the branch(es) they won.
To join in on the action, click on the bulletin board and click on the square piece of paper with the name of the branch you would like to bid on. Airline managers can bid on as many branches as they would like. Just don't forget that others can walk in at any time and place a higher bid. Each bid increases by a factor of 1.1. For example, if the initial rent for a branch is $1000, then the first bid placed will be: $1000 x 1.1 = $1100, the second bid will be: $1100 x 1.1 = $1210, the third bid will be: $1210 x 1.1 = $1331, and so on. Those who have placed bids will receive a fax the following morning in their office informing them of the branches they've won and lost in the auction.
Your airline will be charged the initial cost of a branch the day after winning the auction for it. The initial cost consists of a one-time ticket counter rental fee, which is equal to three times the highest bid placed for the branch. Your airline will then be charged a daily branch rental fee henceforth. Since the highest bid for the branch represents the monthly branch rental fee, the daily cost of renting the branch = (Highest Bid Amount) / 30.
Co-operating with CompetitorsEdit
If a competitor is the highest bidder for a branch, then they will have won exclusive rights to use that branch meaning that your airline will not have access to it unless you co-operate with your competitor. To do so, speak with a competitor about starting a co-operation. This will grant you access to their branches and it will grant the competitor access to your airline's branches. A key benefit to this strategy is that it will not cost your airline anything to use your competitor's branches as you do not actually own those branches.
To end a co-operation, speak to the competitor about ending the co-operation.