Are there any rule of thumb for a NEW commercial airliner, maybe 200 seater or more, for long-haul operations ? I imagine it would be -

  • mostly bigger aircraft as amount of fuel needed would be more
  • amount of food needed would be more
  • amount of waste generated would be more
  • discounts offered by manufacturer

all of which points to having bigger aircraft.

Apart from approximating number of passengers either between A or B or A - hub what sort of other factors influence what sort of aircraft would it be.

I am using long-haul definition from Wikipedia

To make it more precise - 200 or more pax.

  • $\begingroup$ This is almost impossible to answer as it greatly depends on the "mission". For example, a long-haul flight with 10 pax needs a very different aircraft than the same flight with 300 pax. Maybe there are no pax at all and it is cargo, then it depends on the weight and size. Typically airlines try to maximize benefits by cramming aircraft full of people and not fly empty aircraft. I think the biggest factor in estimating is historical trends and available equipment, not immediate needs. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Dec 28 '16 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer updated my query. $\endgroup$ – shirish Dec 28 '16 at 19:46

Because airplanes are incredibly expensive, using a "rule of thumb" would be extremely foolhardy.

A detailed analysis, likely laid out on a spreadsheet, would be much more appropriate. You did hit on many of the major points, which also include:

  • Aircraft Range
  • Passenger Capacity
  • Speed
  • Crew Costs
  • Fuel Consumption
  • Cost per hour
  • Other costs: Insurance, Maintenance, and Leasing
  • Runway and Weight limitations
  • FBO services available

Obviously, if a candidate plane cannot fly the desired distance (perhaps limited by range, ETOPS, altitude or runway at takeoff or arrival), then you can't use that plane. If a candidate plane cannot carry enough pax or cargo, then cross that off.

But once you have planes that can actually complete the mission, then its down to a complex matrix of costs, speed, time, and other benefits, and is a maximization problem without a precise answer. (Some people will value speed above all else. Some will value comfort and amenities.)

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  • $\begingroup$ while you shared and are close, I updated the query to add 200 passengers at least or more pax. For such kind of scenario what kind of aircraft would be looked at ? I am not talking about specific models, but what sort of aircraft, wide-bodied, narrow-bodied, what would work in a likely scenario. $\endgroup$ – shirish Dec 28 '16 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I'm aware, the only planes that can hold 200 people are Boeing and Airbus (737 and bigger for Boeing, all except the A319 / A320 for Airbus). I do not know of any Embraer, Bombardier, or other major manufacturer that can hold 200+ pax. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Dec 28 '16 at 21:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @abelenky: Technically, the Il-96 would also qualify, but would be an odd choice. If upfront cost would be important, it would even have a fair chance. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Dec 28 '16 at 22:02

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