Questions tagged [economics]

Questions about the economics of aviation.

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40 votes
5 answers
12k views

Why are commercial airplanes painted at all?

While there was debate over why airplanes are painted white and a question about how much a new paint job costed, what hasn't been asked is why airplanes are painted at all. I remember one airline ...
12 votes
4 answers
7k views

Which engine is more financially economical to operate, a turboprop or gasoline engine?

I've seen a discussion about this somewhere before. I'm aware that there's no real way to calculate this. So rather then comparing weight and volume for efficiency, let's compare prices. Which engine ...
9 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why are general aviation avionics so expensive?

I am quite sure that someone already asked this question, but I couldn't find it on this site. Why are avionics for general aviation aircraft so expensive? For example: The Garmin® G5 $ 2,149.00 ...
2 votes
2 answers
592 views

What would be the "minimum" number of flight crews per aircraft in a small low cost airline?

Let's say we own a small company flying 10 airplanes (A32X/B73X/A220/E-Jet) in high density low cost environment. Leaving all other costs outside the equation, What would be the minimum flight crew ...
1 vote
1 answer
334 views

Hub-and-spoke networks: fixed and variable costs

In the economic literature, many authors sustain that hub-and-spoke networks: Increase the fixed costs sustained by the airlines. Reduce the marginal costs (by allowing for a more efficient use of ...
-7 votes
1 answer
184 views

If they really wanted to, COULD they make a 100% fail-safe airplane? [closed]

With literally every single electronics device that I have bought in the last X years breaking very quickly or immediately, and being of horrible quality, this thought keep popping up in my mind: If ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

On average, how much fuel is left in commercial flights after landing?

I recently asked what kind of fuel reserve airlines were required to have. It turns out there are international guidelines for that, which for commercial flights are: Per ICAO Annex 6, Part I, ...
0 votes
2 answers
302 views

At what point does a turboprop become more fuel efficient than a jet engine in large commercial aircraft?

Is there a formula that can be reliably used to determine when turboprops become the better option for domestic flights in a plane similar to a 737 in capacity and size? Also could this formula be ...
22 votes
9 answers
12k views

Why are aircraft parts built in different places and assembled in one?

Airbus has its manufacturing facilities in Spain, France, Great Britain and Germany. Each country produces different parts of the aircraft and is finally assembled in one place. Why is this? Wouldn't ...
47 votes
5 answers
13k views

Why are 'ghost flights' necessary?

This article details the recent (March 2020) grounding of 90% of Ryanair's fleet due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Flight tracking data showed that all bar one of the jets had been flown in recent days:...
0 votes
2 answers
169 views

How does the passenger load impact the direct costs and pricing strategy?

I am sitting at the airport and I was wondering if there is an optimal number of passengers to try to board a plane through an interesting fare. Flying an empty plane is obviously the worst situation: ...
0 votes
1 answer
156 views

Is there empirical evidence that aircraft deliveries increase as air travel increases?

Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Tuesday airplane deliveries rose to 35 in September as it benefited from an uptick in domestic travel SEATTLE, Oct 12 (Reuters) An essential principle: greater air travel ...
8 votes
2 answers
919 views

What is the lifespan of a level D simulator?

We have a few interesting questions about the normal ways aircraft end their lives. What about simulators? How long do they typically last? What is the typical reason for retirement? I am ...
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does helicopter mustering make financial sense?

I've seen and know that helicopter mustering is popular in Australia and what I do not understand is why this works from a business perspective. Helicopters are expensive and dangerous machines so it ...
1 vote
1 answer
203 views

What is the time-lag between an airline's decision to serve a route and the starting of its service?

I was wondering whether there is any literature about the time-lag between the moment in which an airline decides to enter a given route and pays the associated fixed costs and the moment in which the ...
2 votes
1 answer
9k views

Variable versus fixed costs in the airline industry

I want to list the costs airlines have to sustain by distinguishing them between variable and fixed. Variable costs change in proportion to aircraft usage. Fixed costs show little or no change in ...
1 vote
1 answer
193 views

Why are private jets more expensive to travel in than commercial aircraft?

I am not sure if this is the right site for a question that asks about the economics of aviation rather than the technical aspects of it, but I couldn't find any other stack exchange site so I am ...
0 votes
0 answers
59 views

At what range does the turbofan start to become more economical than a turboprop? [duplicate]

By more economical I only mean 'burns less fuel'. I'm under the impression that at optimal cruise speed and altitude a turbofan will burn less fuel per mile per passenger than a turboprop, but I might ...
0 votes
2 answers
298 views

Before COVID, what was the largest aviation crisis ever? [closed]

The Covid-19 pandemic is the worst crisis aviation has ever faced. Which one was the biggest one before that pandemic?
3 votes
1 answer
575 views

Why are so many small private jets sold just after a few years?

Why are so many small private jets sold within few years? Hardly a year or two, with depreciation of over 1-2 million dollars? I understand these are bought by millionaires. But everyone spends some ...
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is a turboprop or a turbofan more eco-friendly?

If we compare them, which one wins? Why? And, what about CO2 emissions?
12 votes
10 answers
6k views

What is the most 'environmentally friendly' way to learn to fly?

As this question indicates, I've been thinking recently about the environmental impact of flying (since when automated cars are the only means of ground transport, aviation will be responsible for ...
38 votes
2 answers
15k views

Why is jet fuel cheaper than piston fuel?

Why is Jet-A cheaper than 100LL? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

How much does it cost extra to fly with one additional passenger?

How much does it cost to fly an airplane (like a Boeing or Airbus) when there's one extra passenger there, at an average speed of 475–500 knots (880–926 km/h; 547–575 mph)? That is, about 100kg extra,...
25 votes
6 answers
8k views

What is the most economical way to store a small aircraft in a place with severe weather?

I'm interested in possibly owning a small aircraft sometime in the future. In the interest of finding out how much money it would cost, I recently called a local FBO and asked about a hangar rental. ...
6 votes
3 answers
611 views

Why don't short-haul regional jets go for composites?

We have seen Airbus and Boeing going all the way for composites on their A350 and 787, but when it comes to smaller planes like the Embraer E-jets or the Bombardier C-series, they choose to use ...
4 votes
1 answer
886 views

What were the effects of the oil crises on the Concorde ticket prices?

One of the things that is considered to have greatly hampered Concorde's success were the dramatic oil price increases due to the 1973 oil crisis (the 1979 one surely didn't help either, but it was ...
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

What was the value proposition of the 767-400ER over the 777?

Aside from visible differences, what are some differences in the usage and design of the 767-400ER as compared to the 777-200/200ER (or 300/ER if you feel makes more sense)? What was the value ...
17 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why don’t airliners have temporary liveries?

For buses, it’s quite common to have plastic foil with advertisements on them, but I’ve never seen that on an aircraft. Looking at how aggressively some airlines try to save money, they probably ...
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

How much more economical are planes with retractable gears vs. those with fixed gears?

Many small planes have fixed gears, some have retractable gears. All things being equal, the plane with retractable gears would have to be more expensive than fixed gears, as the mechanisms involved ...
19 votes
4 answers
10k views

Did any Boeing 787 operator achieve the 20% fuel efficiency improvement over the 767?

Is there any airline which are able to get the complete 20% fuel efficiency on their 787 with respect to 767 it is going to replace, as told by Boeing. I have read that one of the early customer like ...
2 votes
2 answers
995 views

Why are jet fuel prices very similar in North America and Europe, yet automotive fuel prices are very different?

Why is the pricing difference of jet fuel between North America and Europe extremely small, unlike automotive gasoline? As of June 22, 2018, the prices in USD per barrel of it between the two ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Could Airbus resume production of the A380? [closed]

Airbus is phasing out the production of their A380 superjumbo due to low demand from airlines. But what if (for the sake of argument) in the future Airbus' prediction of the need of a large aircraft ...
10 votes
1 answer
402 views

What implications does automobile electrification have for the supply and cost of Avgas?

The electrification of automobiles has been picking up pace recently, with various countries and manufacturers setting targets for an electric- or electric/hybrid- only future. If these plans come to ...
2 votes
3 answers
700 views

Why would a flight take a detour on clean weather?

I was in a flight recently (march 22nd) from SBCF to SBGR (Brazil). It's usually a 1h10m flight, but mine took roughly 20 minutes more. I saw the flight path in FlightAware and there's an unexpected (...
11 votes
1 answer
4k views

Airplane gently rocking its wings during whole flight

I was on a flight with a regional airline a while ago in a Bombardier airplane (if I recall correctly) where the airplane would slowly and gently rock its wings just a little bit on the whole flight. ...
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

How could a twin aisle aircraft (Boeing NMA) ever have a single aisle (A321) economics?

I understand from this discussion about the Boeing 757 and 767 that drag is directly related to the front area of the airframe, hence flight efficiency of the dual aisle aircraft can only be ...
9 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why is the A330neo more efficient than the A350 on shorter routes?

For A330neo Wikipedia page, is written: A330neo enables profitability on shorter ranges where the longer-range A350 and Boeing 787 aren't optimized. For what reasons it is true? A330 and A350 ...
10 votes
1 answer
486 views

Why does Thai Lion Air use loads of 737 ERs for 1-2hr routes?

Thai Lion Air primarily flies short-haul domestic routes and most of the time I find myself on an ER version of a relatively new 737. Isn't ER for extended range? And thus costs a lot more per plane? ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why do airlines seem to go out of business suddenly? [closed]

FlyBMI are currently in the news for failing and stranding passengers abroad. This is not the first time an airline has halted operations seemingly overnight and left passengers without a way to get ...
11 votes
2 answers
21k views

What is the ratio between time in the air and time on ground for an aircraft?

I suppose it may be different from an airline to another. Given the maintenance, the time to load/unload the aircraft, the time the aircraft is grounded because there is no flight scheduled (e.g. at ...
33 votes
7 answers
23k views

Why don't 747s use unreliable, but cheap, jet engines instead?

I'm a neophyte who was reading a little bit about jet engines, and the economics behind them. In particular, I was curious about what makes jet engines so expensive compared to piston engines. A ...
4 votes
2 answers
394 views

Would a refueling stop be cheaper than finding lodging for all the passengers?

This is somewhat late followup question to my original question. Basic story was flight got delayed by almost 24 hours because first, technical reasons, secondly temperatures were very high. As far ...
1 vote
4 answers
735 views

Is there a KPI to measure average hours flown?

I am working on a report for a small charter airline and I want to set a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure average hours flown. Is there a practice in aviation field to consider optimum ...
13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why do narrowbodies have longer life than widebodies?

Is it fair to say that narrowbody aircraft have a longer life than widebody aircraft? This is the conclusion drawn from a report written by Dick Forsburg from Avolon (.pdf), where he says that the ...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Would the twin engine Boeing Y3 be able to compete better than the Airbus A380? [closed]

The low sales performance of the quad engine Airbus A380 and declining sales of the Boeing 747-800 have largely been attributed to lesser fuel economy of quad engine aircraft when compared to their ...
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

What is the average number hours flown annually by a commercial cargo aircraft?

I'm hoping someone has already performed some initial research that might support some preliminary economic models for an aircraft design project.
6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is it really cost effective to put a motion system underneath a Full Flight Simulator?

Civil full flight simulators are mounted on top of a motion system. It is an expensive system, requires higher and therefore more costly buildings, and requires greater structural integrity of the ...
26 votes
5 answers
11k views

Why do all airliners have life jackets?

According to this question, life jackets are not mandatory in planes that do not fly over large bodies of water. However, I have never been on an airline flight without life jackets (and the ...
81 votes
8 answers
20k views

Why do aircraft models end their life as freighters?

There seems to be a tendency that aircraft models are more long-lived for cargo than for passenger service. For example, both the A300 and MD-11 are all but extinct in scheduled passenger service, ...