In answer to the question about B757 costs across the Atlantic -
Currrent lease rates to a reputable operator for a B757 capable of transatlantic operations (ETOPS, RB211-535E4s, etc.) are between $150,000 and $180,000 depending on the condition of the aircraft. Reconfiguration into an all-first, ultra-luxury configuration will run $4 million (conservatively) and be financed over a 48-month window, IF
a bank will finance custom improvements (not likely). Approximate aircraft cost is therefore $250,000. Insurance (hull, liability and war risk) per month will run around $75,000 per aircraft depending on the fleet size, coverage, etc. Total aircraft cost is therefore in the order of $325,000 per month. A startup is likely to get 25 round-trips per month out of a ten-year-old B757, so aircraft cost per trip is roughly $6,500.
Fuel burn for a Rolls-powered B757 is about 1,150 gallons per hour for LTN
. A startup operator is unlikely to have ETOPS/120 or ETOPS/180, so flight times can be 8 hours or more. Typical fuel burn is therefore 9,200 gallons, with in-wing fuel costs at LTN
of $1.70 for a startup. So fuel burn might be $16,000 per trip with fees.
Maintenance will depend on many factors, including whether the startup airline elects for a power-by-the-hour agreement on the engines. Typical 757 airframe (heavy-check) reserves are $100 per block hour; engine restoration of $150 per flight hour, per engine; $100 per cycle for LLPs; and maybe another $250 per hour in line, gear, APU, etc. A startup will probably budget $750 per block hour plus $1,000 per cycle in maintenance costs, or about $7,000 per trip for a B757. The age and condition of the aircraft and engines can lower this cost significantly, but usually those aircraft have higher lease rates.
For crew, a non-ETOPS operator is likely to have three flight deck [trip length is over eight hours] and at least five cabin crew members on a B757. That's about $40,000 per crew per month; it takes five crews to run 25 trips per month. Crew salaries and benefits are therefore $4,000 per flight. In addition, crew hotels, transport, per diems, etc. can add $1,500 on a typical rotation.
Airport and overflight fees vary. Transatlantic flights have special check-in, profiling, security and other requirements that complicate ground handling. With cleaning, departure costs from the UK can easily top $4,000 per flight for a startup airline. A startup would also budget $2,000 in overflight fees, $1,500 in landing fees at EWR
, and at least $2,500 in terminal and arrival fees at EWR
Finally, a startup would have catering and amenities. It's hard to say what this new airline would provision on the aircraft, but it wouldn't be cheap.
The total trip cost LTN
would therefore be:
$6,500 Aircraft & Insurance
$5,500 Crew & Per Diem/Hotels
$4,000 Departure Airport Costs
$2,000 Overflight Fees
$1,500 Landing Fees
$2,500 Terminal/Arrival Fees
$45,000 Base Trip Cost
Then you have to consider overhead. A lean startup with a marketing budget will burn around $2,500,000 per month in SG
&A. Amortizing this across a two-aircraft fleet with 100 trips per month (2 a/c * 25 r/t per month * 2 segments per r/t) means a $25,000 overhead burden.
Fully-loaded 757 trip cost would therefore be about $70,000 for a startup, NOT COUNTING the lavish in-flight amenities.
Assuming 25 paying passengers per flight (this is aggressive unless this new airline has an amazing product) the one-way fare would need to be $2,800, or about $5,900 with all taxes and fees.
The 757 is a compelling aircraft for an all-first product across the Atlantic. The problem is that the number of markets where a startup can capture 25 paying passengers each way is VERY limited.
Two big problems though apart from the obvious market entry and dynamics. First, the aircraft configuration itself can be problematic. The FAA will push back on a complex cabin configuration with different zones. Startups in the US have hit trouble on this point. Conditions for a UK-flag carrier might be easier. Second, operating without ETOPS has its problems, especially during the winter when Keflavik can be ineligible as an alternate.
Hope that helps.