Players take the role of airlines competing for dominance of the skies. Whoever can attract the most passengers and control the best regions will emerge victorious!
Anytime passengers are added to the board, cubes are pulled from the passenger bag, which initially contains 100 red and 25 green cubes. If the pulled cube is green, another cube is pulled until a red cube is pulled.
Passengers are always distributed equally among the open gates at an airport, with ties broken from left to right.
The demand card deck is shuffled, and the top five cards are drawn. Passengers are added to the airports on those cards, then a local airline gate is placed at each of those airports.
Three cards per player are then drawn. Passengers are added to those airports, but no additional local airline gates are added.
Each player receives 3 demand cards. Starting with the last player and going backward, each player gets 6 points to spend on adding their own gates to the board. The cost to purchase the gate is the number shown in the gate. Players may also buy out local airline gates by paying the buyout cost listed on the airport. Some airports have a buyout cost of "N/A," indicating that local airlines cannot be bought out.
1. Buy gates
Each player gets 6 points to spend on adding gates to the board. Unlike setup, if players don't spend the full 6 points in this phase, they get any excess points added to their score.
2. Play cards
Each player plays a card, adds passengers to the airport on that card, and draws a replacement card.
Once per game, each player can use a special action instead of playing a card: add passengers to any one airport, discard any number of cards, then draw back to three cards.
3. Add more passengers
One card per player is drawn. Passengers are added to the indicated airports.
4. Earn income
Each player scores 1 point per passenger cube in the gates they own. The game tracks this value as your income: you can check your income to know how many passengers you currently control.
5. Check for end of game
If any player is out of gates or has at least 100 points, the game ends immediately. (See End-of-game scoring.)
6. Check for government assistance
If any player has at least 30 points, once per game, the government steps in to assist struggling airports.
Each player may add passengers to 1 airport per 3 points they are behind the point leader, rounded up. For example, if the player in first has 33 points and you have 29, you can choose up to two airports to receive passengers.
Players who are tied for first are skipped.
Each player (even the players with the most points) may discard any number of cards.
After players discard, the discard is shuffled into the deck, and each player draws back up to 3 cards.
7. Add local airline gates
Any airports that have passengers but no open gates receive a local airline gate in the first slot.
8. End of round
The start player marker passes to the next player. The game continues from step 1.
For each region, check which player has the highest total gate value. Each gate has a value equal to the large white number on the top right corner of the airport. The player with the highest gate value receives the indicated point bonus for that region. The player with the second highest gate value gets 6 points (except in a 2-player game).
Each player who has not used a special action receives 3 points. The player with the most points is the winner!