Re: Are cargo planes generally old ?

Date:         12 May 99 02:49:01 
From:         "Antoin Daltun" <adaltun@tinet.ie>
References:   1
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Most passenger aircraft have a fairly high average daily utilisation, say,
8-10 flying hours for a short-haul aircraft, 12-14 for long-haul.

This means that they benefit sufficiently (in money terms) from lower fuel
consumption, low maintenance costs, to be able to pay the higher ownership
(or lease) costs of more efficient, more high technology newer aircraft.

Also passengers react badly to en route stops, so that passenger airlines
benefit in their revenue from flying B747-400s, A340-300s, etc, on long
routes which older aircraft , such as B747-200, DC-10, cannot operate
non-stop.

Since most short-haul cargo is from a city to a night-time hub and back
again (once), a typical B727 may only fly 3-5 hours per 24 hour period.  So
the advantage a new aircraft offers is less in money terms(although external
noise, reliability are still issues).  The cost of a used B727, even after
hush-kiting, is only a fraction of a new aircraft, so it makes sense to keep
using them as long as possible.  Old A300s are a good replacement and help
the noise problem.

On longer sectors, the utilisation of freighters is close to passenger
aircraft, sometimes higher as freight does not object to arriving at
unsocial hours, so there is quite a good market for B747-400F and MD-11Fs.
The long-range of the B747-400F also allows it to fly direct routings where
older aircraft would need circuitous routings, say Europe or US-Japan via
Alaska.

Antoin Daltun