Re: Costs of operating an airliner/Mileage

From:         rdd@cactus.org (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society, Austin, Tx
Date:         30 Apr 93 02:23:23 PDT
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1993.361@ohareChicago.COM> you write:
>My advisor and I were talking about aviation because he flies a lot and I  
>wish I did :-), and he gave a stat Lufthansa published that the optimal  
>"mileage" that a fully loaded 747 can attain is 80 miles/gallon/person. Is  
>this a reasonable number?
>
>Also, take a 767 BOS-SFO flight. Assuming a packed flight, how much does  
>it cost to operate, including fuel, cost of the plane, pilots, staff,  
>landing fees, peanuts, etc. Therefore, how much does the company need in  
>total airfare to break even. How much does this come out to per person. Is  
>80 miles/gallon/person a reasonable "mileage".

Rather than speculate, Aviation Week & Space Technology carries a regular
column totalling various airline direct operating costs.  The World Aviation
Directory also has a similar section.  Both of these should be more than
adequate for you to form your own conclusions.

There is, however, no easy answer: the total is a function of fuel burn, 
other tangibles (oil, hydraulic fluid, etc), passenger-service items, and 
crew costs.  The two major hidden costs are the quality of maintenance the 
airline has access to, and the type of financing the airplane was purchased 
under.  A heavily leveraged airline may make an airplane profitable, whereas 
a poorer one might not--and a government-sponsored or supported airline can 
often just wipe the books clear and proceed on a direct-operating and 
maintenance costs basis. (ala Concorde)

Even having access to case-instance data may not help: AvLeak listed the
per-hour operating costs for Pan Am 747 at about $6K a few years ago, whereas
the next runner-up was about $3.5K.  





---
Robert Dorsett
rdd@cactus.org
...cs.utexas.edu!cactus.org!rdd