What is the extra cost of aborted landing and go-around for typical "big" airliner?

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    $\begingroup$ not that much compared to the entire flight, at most it's some extra fuel and delay $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 10:23
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    $\begingroup$ Much less than landing that should have been a go-around. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the question. It directly cost fuel and flight time, but it cannot be compared to what happen if the aircraft land. If the pilot decide to go around, it is becaus landing the aircraft could cost life (not enough visibility, collision with other vehicle,...) and thus go around save money and lives. You cannot say it costs something. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ @ManuH: The fact that another option costs more or has other consequences shouldn't prevent to evaluate the cost of go-around (which must be taken into account when pricing the ticket anyway). $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ Same as "how much the maintenance costs", this question has nothing to do with consideration that not worth doing because expensive. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


We can look at financial data from airlines to estimate these figures.

In addition to fuel, there will also the extra duty time for the crew, some delay in schedule, and extra flight time on the aircraft. The delay in schedule can be difficult to estimate, but other costs of operation can be estimated. A short flight would take 1.5 hours, and the go around might take 0.2 hours.

Based on the financial data, an MD-83 might cost about 6000 dollars/hour to operate. This includes all direct operating expenses. This means that the regular flight would cost about 9000 dollars to operate, and a go around would cost about 1200 dollars. Since a go around uses a lot of fuel, the figure may be a bit higher.

The figures for a Boeing 747-400 show about 15000 dollars/hour to operate, and a Boeing 777-200 about 12000 dollars/hour to operate. That would make an 8 hour flight 120,000 dollars and 96,000 dollars respectively, with go arounds costing 3000 and 2400 dollars respectively. Obviously, for longer flights, the go around will cost less proportionally than for a shorter flight.

As DeltaLima mentioned, the cost of not doing a go around (which includes making this decision early enough) can be substantially higher. Loss of or even just damage to an aircraft will cost much more time and money.

To see if these numbers make sense, this report mentions that an empty MD-83 would need 1000 kg of fuel for a go around and new approach. It also mentions that a ferry flight from Paris Orly to Olbia, Italy, would normally require 6800 kg including reserves. If reserves are about 1600 kg, this would mean that the flight would use 5200 kg of fuel.

If jet fuel costs 3 dollars per gallon, this comes out to 985.72 dollars of fuel for a go around, and 5125.73 dollars of fuel for a regular flight. This figure seems reasonable along with the figures above.

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    $\begingroup$ Is there any extra cost of ground handling if plane arrives late or couldn't depart in time? $\endgroup$
    – tomash
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ This "$6000" per hour approach is somewhat flawed because not all expenses directly and proportionally depend on the duration of flight. I suspect, longer flight should be cheaper per hour. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ @AudriusMeškauskas you are correct, using the average cost per hour will result in some error, but it does give a rough idea. I'm not sure what the best way is to get a closer estimate. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ @h22 While it certainly won't be exact, not all of the costs would actually be less per hour. The cost of paying the crew will be the same per hour and the fuel cost will actually be more per hour (because of the TOGA power climb out and lots of extra flying around at inefficient altitudes.) I wouldn't be surprised if the higher per-hour fuel burn mostly made up for the lower per-hour costs in other areas (i.e. per-flight costs and the like.) $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 5:22

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