DeltaBOS From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 21 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13786 times:
I understand the mystique of flying in an airplane such as the 747, and I fully understand that it was the first reliable long-hauler, and obviously the most notable aircraft in the modern world save MAYBE the Concorde, but how do the costs of maintaining an older aircraft like the 747 compare to those of the equally-as-serviceable 777 or A330/A340? Wouldn't the more modern airplanes seem to be safer and much more cost efficient in this day and age? I'm COMPLETELY ignorant about this subject and am somewhat curious as to where the motivation lies to keep the B747 up and running.
Unattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2283 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13456 times:
Many of the "older" 747's are paid for. A new aircraft costs money, so if an airline has (over the years) completely paid for the 747-200 or -300, that aircraft is free to use. That is just one reason.
Many crews (flight, service, maintenance) are fully trained on certain types of aircraft and retraining those crews for a new aircraft costs money.
Gemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5460 posts, RR: 6 Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13377 times:
How about because:
1) Its not old? The 747-400 is still in production, QF reciving its latest less than a year ago and there are rumors of more 744ER orders to come!
2) For some missions it is still the most economical beast there is. For QF what else is there for Kangaroo Route & Pacific services? The 772LR MIGHT offer some advantages, but there are still EPTOS and capacity issues on both Kangaroo & Pacific services, for current 777 models.
Spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3365 posts, RR: 13 Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13232 times:
Not to mention you've got airports like Narita and Haneda in Japan that are slot-limited.. in those kinds of situations going from a 747 to a 777 is basically kicking those extra passengers and their fares out the door. And you're talking about a 150 seat difference in some configurations.
And yes, the 744 is still in production so it's not "old" and unserviceable... there is only one open order to a passenger carrier right now but most 744's are nowhere near the end of their useable lifespan. And on a lot of routes, there's no better plane flying right now even if the 744's were old. If all of ANA and JAL's 744D's suddenly fell apart on the tarmac, they'd probably have no choice but to buy a bunch of new 744D's to replace them. Same is true for a lot of other Asian carriers that effectively can't run certain routes any more frequently than they do, along with some western carriers (such as BA and NW) that fly to a lot of those Asian destinations.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
Jasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 42 Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13116 times:
Also, on long routes where frequency isn't really an issue, it's better to have one big plane than two smaller ones. Whilst the cost of maintaining 2 777s isn't nearly double that of maintaining one 747, it probably is somewhat higher per seat. Often, its a simple case of having two planes where one can do the job.
Ordpark From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 560 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13091 times:
Can't speak for everyone, but at UA the new lease rates we have on the 744's have made them very economical to operate...not to mention that they are without a doubt the most awesome commercial aircraft ever built.
Baw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2018 posts, RR: 29 Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12907 times:
There are a lot of great points here...my two cents has to do with the economics of an older 747 vs. a new 777 (since those were the two aircraft that were compared):
There is a point in the ownership of an aircraft (or any vehicle for that matter), where the cost of operation is substantially less than a new aircraft. The older aircraft is usually paid for, the newer one is not. So the new aircraft has high ownership costs. Also, within the scope of that timeframe, the maintenance costs are fairly low, reducing cost of ownership. Once the airframe gets above a certain number of cycles (take offs and landings), the maintenance and operating costs start to go up and at that point, the aircraft is usually refitted for cargo or sold.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
Bill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8408 posts, RR: 9 Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12854 times:
Whilst the cost of maintaining 2 777s isn't nearly double that of maintaining one 747
Not to mention having to fork over more in payments to Boeing, Lessors or Finance companies as 777's cost more then 747's don't they?
Also if the 777 and A340 aren't in your fleet you have to train crews in the aircraft, buy new spares and other additional equpitment. So if you have 747's you might as well keep them as they are still very good aircraft.
Jasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 42 Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 11795 times:
Because the 747 is just a f+cking beauty and kills the A330/A340
Here we go again! I was waiting for someone had to go and wreck a perfectly good discussion. So, airlines are using the 747 only because it looks pretty and "kills" the Airbuses? Good God! All the while, of course, we must ignore the fact that the 747 and 330 are so completely apples and oranges, yet agree all around that Airbus are crap. Just because.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7719 posts, RR: 17 Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 10032 times:
Most 747s flying in passenger service these days are -400s... which began rolling off the Everett line in 1989. Hardly old by most measures. Fewer and fewer carriers are flying the older models in regular passenger service these days.
As has been discussed above the 747, especially the -400 is relatively efficient. Given that in most international configurations it is seating ~380-420 passengers its marginal costs (CASM) are very competive. Plus there are many routes out there that demand 400 seats per flight, something that a 777-200 or A340-300 cannot do. With at least 100 fewer seats per flight you have in effect lost the capacity of 2 747 flights over the course of the week.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
StearmanNut From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 352 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 9227 times:
I would say that using an older 747 to generate revenue should be profitable despite the maintenance issues. It is considerably more profitable to operate an aircraft that has had the purchase debt against it retired. At that point the only chargebacks to the airplane is the maintenance and peripheral operating costs.
Case in point: DL is now going back to some retired (debt free) MD11's and allowing leased 777's go back. Again, it is cheaper and more profiable to operate an aircaft that is paid for.
If wishes were horses, a Tail Dragger I would fly...