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AirPacific747
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Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:12 pm

I've been wondering this for quite some time...

Why does it seem like most cargo aircraft are way older than people carriers?
What's the benefit for the operators in operating such old aircraft like the one below:


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Surely it can't be more fuel efficient or cheaper in maintenance than a newer Boeing or Airbus?
And if they are so cheap to operate, then why aren't they used for passengers?
 
andrewtang
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:22 pm

Because there are many people who will think why am I flying such an old plane?  biggrin 

Honestly cargo pallets don't care if they are on a new or old plane. If the company that is operating the plane can get it cheap. Or in the case of UPS, they probably will have finished financing the plane long ago. So now the profit from the flight minus off the operating cost, they will get more revenue than using a newer plane.
 
columba
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:35 pm

They are cheaper to acquire since they are mostly second passenger aircraft converted to freighters.
They fly 15-20 years in passenger service and start a second life as freighter before the airliners that have once replaced them in passenger service will be phased out by the passenger airlines:
e.g. the 727 was once the workhorse of many passenger airlines and has been replaced mostly by 757s or the A320 so the 727 has been replaced by the 757/A320 and the 727F will be replaced with the 757F/A320F.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:21 pm

Quoting Andrewtang (Reply 1):
If the company that is operating the plane can get it cheap.



Quoting Columba (Reply 2):
They fly 15-20 years in passenger service and start a second life as freighter before the airliners that have once replaced them in passenger service will be phased out by the passenger airlines:

Right, but is it still feasible considering fuel efficiency and maintenance costs? I guess so, but then back to why airlines don't use these old planes anymore... I mean they can get them cheap too, but I guess that must be because:

Quoting Andrewtang (Reply 1):
there are many people who will think why am I flying such an old plane? biggrin

?
 
columba
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:30 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 3):
Right, but is it still feasible considering fuel efficiency and maintenance costs? I guess so, but then back to why airlines don't use these old planes anymore... I mean they can get them cheap too, but I guess that must be because:

The fear of passengers on flying and old and therefore in their opinion "unsafe" aircraft is one reason.
But also many cargo airlines don´t use their aircaft every day so fuel costs are not that big of an issue as for passenger airlines.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
rfields5421
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:44 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 3):
Right, but is it still feasible considering fuel efficiency and maintenance costs?

Look at automobiles - while fuel efficiency and maintenance costs are important - it's the cost of buying the car which usually makes the decision. Do people get rid of five year old cars to buy new cars for the cheaper fuel costs?

Fuel and maintenance are important cost factors - but they are secondary when compared to the cost of acquisition.

A good DC-8 airframe and getting it in shape would cost under $20 million in today's world. How much fuel would UPS have to save at 15-20 hours flight time per week, maintenance at 1,000 flight hours per year to make up the cost difference of a $200 million dollar Boeing?

As noted above - a mainline or LCC passenger airline is going to fly their jet 50-60 hours per week, and 3,000-4,000 hours per year. So the per flight hour savings factor is much higher for them.

Savings of fuel and maintenance have to be figured on a per-flight hour basis - and include the cost of acquisition.

There is no way a modern new aircraft can compete cost-wise for low flight time routes with a well maintained older aircraft.
 
patroni
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:47 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 3):
Right, but is it still feasible considering fuel efficiency and maintenance costs?

It all depends on the daily utilization. If you have new aircraft with high ownership cost but (relatively) low operating cost (fuel, maintenance, etc.), you will have to get a high utilization rate out of them. If a new aircraft sits on the ground, the company cannot take advantage of the cost saving opportunities (hence the daily utilization rate of e.g. 744F operators is often between 15 and 16h).
For an old aircraft the economics work the other way round: Ownership costs are low or even close to Zero, but operating cost are high. So if an integrator like UPS uses a 727 or DC-8 to feed a hub (1 flight to the hub in the evening, out in the next morning, while the aircraft sits the rest of the day on the apron), it can be more economical than wasting the time of a new aircraft.
 
EYKD
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:45 pm

Sorry for possibly silly question: Does airframe age influence freigth insurance rate anyhow?
 
rfields5421
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:57 pm

Quoting EYKD (Reply 7):
Does airframe age influence freigth insurance rate anyhow?

Certainly, but they are not using airframes which get into that high a cost factor. It's airframe cycles more than age which is a limiting factor.

The rates would have to be very, very high to offset the cheap acquisition costs.

A person looking for a private jet can buy an old Sabreliner and get it in very nice shape for about $2 million. It takes a lot of fuel and higher insurance to make a $35 million new Lear 45 a 'better' bargin.

If cost factors and not ego dominated the bizjet market - there would be a lot fewer new bizjets every year.
 
ktachiya
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:33 pm

Well consider this point.

Modern pax aircraft such as the B747-400 or the B777-200LR or ER is adjustable to a variety of IFE and leads to passenger comfort. There are many modifications on the current aircraft such as the B777 that was built under the Working Together Model that makes passenger comfort, their #1 priority. And airlines around the world are getting PTV and other amazing IFE. Such as the ICE system on EK, Magic system on JL, Studio CX on CX. Even airlines that I thought were never going to get PTVs for another great many years such as LH are focusing on passenger entertainment, other than the space that they provide on Y over the other carriers.

But does a cargo aircraft require entertainment? It won't because you are transporting goods and not people. You are not going to provide a frozen fish with a MAGIC or a STUDIO CX or an ICE sytem. And in the case of Japan, I can say that the non-stop routes aren't still the norm for cargo aircraft. I mean JL and Nippon Cargo still use ANC as a hub, as well as Fedex or UPS.

Nevertheless, Nippon Cargo is starting a rapid fleet modernization and I guess that will continue, but why not use a B747-400BCF if there is still life available in them? CX uses some of its classics as cargo aircraft today and I think that is a smart business plan. Besides, cargo is not getting dramatically cheaper and they are not demanding really cheap fees like in Japanese airlines (group pax) so I think fuel cost is not that big of an issue if they can obtain aircraft for really cheap. It still costs a fortune to send something from Japan to North America.
Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:49 am

Quoting Columba (Reply 4):
But also many cargo airlines don´t use their aircaft every day so fuel costs are not that big of an issue as for passenger airlines.



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 5):
As noted above - a mainline or LCC passenger airline is going to fly their jet 50-60 hours per week, and 3,000-4,000 hours per year. So the per flight hour savings factor is much higher for them.

Savings of fuel and maintenance have to be figured on a per-flight hour basis - and include the cost of acquisition.

There is no way a modern new aircraft can compete cost-wise for low flight time routes with a well maintained older aircraft.



Quoting Patroni (Reply 6):
So if an integrator like UPS uses a 727 or DC-8 to feed a hub (1 flight to the hub in the evening, out in the next morning, while the aircraft sits the rest of the day on the apron), it can be more economical than wasting the time of a new aircraft.

Thank you for clearing that up guys!
Next question: Why is Fedex ordering brand new 777s then?  Wink  duck  Big grin
 
3201
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:59 am

This is another thread that keeps coming up over and over again. Search does work.

Traditionally cargo aircraft were old because the utilization was low (for example, only one round-trip a day usually for the express carriers) so the ratio of acquisition costs to fuel costs was high.

Now that utilization is higher (almost all FedEx aircraft fly two round-trips a day) and fuel is more expensive, the ratio of acquisition costs to fuel costs has gone way down. This is why you see box-haulers buying more new aircraft now -- the difference in fuel costs is much higher than it was, so it's more worth it to spend a lot on newer aircraft. This is also why NWA are finally retiring more of their DC9s, it's exactly the same situation.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 5):
Savings of fuel and maintenance have to be figured on a per-flight hour basis - and include the cost of acquisition.

Exactly.
7 hours aint long-haul
 
747fan
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:55 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 10):
Next question: Why is Fedex ordering brand new 777s then?

And UPS ordering 27 new 767-300ERF's and 8 new 747-400F's (one is already in service, another quickly on the way)?  duck 
Cargo airlines such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. don't need to fly many brand-new planes (although UPS, w/ the exception of their 747 classics, DC-8's, and 727's, as a relatively new fleet) since they have lower utilization rates than pax carriers and boxes don't complain. And they have markedly lower acquisition costs, which offsets the higher cost of maintenance and fuel.
 
MCO2BRS
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:56 am

Would it be financially viable for a company such as FX, to acquire some older 777's with a high number of cycles and convert them? I'm thinking of the 777A, I think BA had/has a few as well as Varig? Would Boeing allow a PAX T7 to be converted to 777F before they started building their own?
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:24 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 10):
Next question: Why is Fedex ordering brand new 777s then?

A better Q is now guess how long a new 777F will last?
safe
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patroni
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:45 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 10):
Next question: Why is Fedex ordering brand new 777s then? Wink duck

Because they also have missions which lead to higher utilization rates. With large fleets as operated by Fedex or UPS the airlines can afford to deploy the most suitable aircraft for each mission profile. Airlines with smaller fleets sometimes have to accept compromise solutions (like a 747F doing a short haul flight). I think Cathay Pacific at a time called their fleet deployment "intelligent misuse"  Wink
 
OV735
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:24 am

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 14):
A better Q is now guess how long a new 777F will last?

Maybe until the LCDs in the cockpit start to die? Analog clocks last longer.  Smile

Seriously though, depending on the utilization, I think they might live into their forties and actually be retired because they use the wrong kind of fuel...

Cheers,
OV735
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:19 am

Quoting EYKD (Reply 7):
Sorry for possibly silly question: Does airframe age influence freigth insurance rate anyhow?

Airplane use is measured in flying hours and cycles (a cycle is engine start up, taxi, take off, climb to altitude, cruise, descent, land and taxi to ramp for shut down). As long as there's no structural reason to ground the airplane (corrosion or cracks) an airplane can fly for years (provided other operating costs don't make it prohibitive). I believe at one time Korean Air had a 747 cargo plane that had something like 100,000 hours on it. I don't know what ever became of it, but I have seen wide body airliners being retired with around 65,000 hours on them.
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Avianca
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:49 am

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):
Certainly, but they are not using airframes which get into that high a cost factor. It's airframe cycles more than age which is a limiting factor.

from where the insurance company will know what kind of aircraft the contracted airline (contracted from a forwarder) ????
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VonRichtofen
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:06 am

Also remember that profit margins are way higher flying cargo versus people. So the fuel efficiency issue is probably negated by that alone.


Kris
 
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:13 am

I think there is more than fuel cost. I'm sure they buy new aircraft for some of their longer range flights. If the plane does well and the up keep is fairly reasonable, why not use the older aircraft? How do the pilots feel about flying these older aircraft?
 
vv701
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:13 am

Quoting Patroni (Reply 6):
For an old aircraft the economics work the other way round: Ownership costs are low or even close to Zero, but operating cost are high. So if an integrator like UPS uses a 727 or DC-8 to feed a hub (1 flight to the hub in the evening, out in the next morning, while the aircraft sits the rest of the day on the apron), it can be more economical than wasting the time of a new aircraft.

 checkmark 

I do not buy the "passengers do not like old aircraft" argument. If the airline refurbishes its interiors and cleans and paints the outside of its aircraft at appropriate intervals, how is Mr or Ms Average going to have any idea as to what the age of any aircraft they board is? No. Airlines replace aircraft for purely economic reasons when maintenance, refurbishment and fuel costs outweigh the advantages of flying a fully amortised aircraft.
 
September11
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:16 am

I ask myself this question: will DHL buy DC9 fleet from NW in the near future?


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747fan
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:25 am

Quoting September11 (Reply 22):
I ask myself this question: will DHL buy DC9 fleet from NW in the near future?

Maybe, but I'm thinking that some of those (the -30's) are too old, as some of them are 40 years old. The "maybe" is for their youngest -50's, which are just over 30 years old, but I still think that's actually too old of a plane for a major cargo airline to acquire.
 
NWAROOSTER
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting September11 (Reply 22):
I ask myself this question: will DHL buy DC9 fleet from NW in the near future?

No. Northwest is flying their DC-9s untill they reach the FAA mandated limit of 100,000 cycles and the next check.
The FAA has limited the cycles due to an aft pressure bulkhead problem, due to the pressurisation cycle used for each flight.
Very few of Northwest's DC-9s will fly after NWA is done with them. Their time will be up and spent.  old 
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MCOflyer
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:34 am

They are cheap and if in good order, can last many years while making a profit.

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cancidas
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:06 am

Quoting MCO2BRS (Reply 13):
Would Boeing allow a PAX T7 to be converted to 777F before they started building their own?

does anyone make a conversion kit for it? don't forget, the floor needs to be strengthened, main cargo door cut and so on. there aren't any certified for operation yet, so regardless if boeing or someone else does it it needs to be legal to fly it afterwards. there is a russian company that is going to produce kits to convert A320s to freighters. there's another thread on that one here.
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bredman1
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:29 pm

It amazes me that anyone would even ask this question.
 
Chappie
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:02 pm

ABX Air are parking their DC-9 series aircraft this year, so I doubt that they will take any of NW ( or any other carrier's) DC 9s
 
3201
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:04 pm

Quoting Bredman1 (Reply 27):
It amazes me that anyone would even ask this question

There's a specific technical answer, different than "they can still make money so why not," which wouldn't explain why there's a difference between cargo and passenger operators (which there is). It's a good question... just one that has already been answered.  wink 
7 hours aint long-haul
 
wjcandee
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:48 pm

For what it's worth, Patroni basically got it right in his post. To expand a bit, I would add that the poster who taked about mixed missions also rounded out the picture. The only other issue that hasn't been discussed is dispatch reliability.

Old planes: lower dispatch reliability (usually, although not always); lower capital cost; higher maint cost; higher fuel cost. This means that the thing has a high operating cost per hour, but the low ownership cost offsets the high cost per hour if it isn't flying a lot. This means: you use this plane for missions where it's going to sit a lot, for example, out and back to a hub once a day. You can also have a few spares. You also use it on missions where, if it breaks, you can flag-stop another plane or run a plane down there during the off-hours so you don't miss its one turn per day. So, for example, it can be downright economical for that once-a-day ORD-ILN turn.

New (and new-er) planes: higher dispatch reliability, much higher capital cost; lower maint cost; lower fuel cost; sometimes lower crew cost. This means that the thing has a lower operating cost per hour, but the high ownership cost offsets the low operating cost unless it is flying a lot. This means: you use this plane for missions where it's going to be flying its tail off, for example on long transcontinental runs (where you do, say two trips to the hub per day on 4.5-hour legs) or intercontinental runs, and where you're in more difficulty operationally if it breaks. SDF-ANC-NRT, for example.

An optimal fleet will have a mix matched to the missions. Where some component of business is seasonal, you want a low-capital cost component of the fleet available to permit the ability to handle seasonal peaks. You can also (as UPS, FedEx, etc. do) bring in charter lift to help with the real seasonal peaks.

You also have a middle ground between "old" and "new". For example, ABX Air flies 762s on DHL's transcontinental routes. These aircraft have a lower capital cost than new airframes, but still have good dispatch reliability, good fuel economy (compared, say, to the DC8 and certainly to the 727), a 2-pilot cockpit, modern avionics, a reliable source of rotable parts, and lots of places around the country and world that know how to fix them. The MD11 is capable of a great deal of lift and range on 3 engines, and has proven to be a very successful freighter because its lift and legs come with a size that's right for a lot of UPS and FedEx intercontinental missions, and its rather-quick demise as a passenger carrier gave it a capital cost that was optimal for conversion into a freighter; no need to haul around the volume and weight of a 747 if you don't need to do so.

Carriers like Evergreen, Kalitta, etc. have some highly-seasonal contracts, as well as contracts which are much shorter in years than the typical financing for a newer aircraft. Accordingly, lest they be stuck with a bunch of new airframes that they don't have long-term contracts or short-terms uses for (in an economic downturn, for example) , they tend to use older, lower-capital cost frames (so they don't end up like Atlas Air several years ago, for example, where they had a bunch of shiny new 747-400s coming off the line and nobody willing to pay them to fly them). This does, of course, sometimes limit their dispatch reliability, and thus the kind of business that they can normally get. One way to handle having a newer fleet if you don't have contract lengths that match your financing lengths is to stagger lease expirations, as World Airways did with its MD11s. That way, you have some flexibility to downsize if you need to without penalty (because you have to assume that if you can't sell the service, there isn't likely to be someone else wanting to snatch up your lease at the price that you're paying for it).

Some posters have also made observations that echo the sentiment common in the freight business: "Boxes don't bitch." And while it's true that a box doesn't care about the age of the aircraft, that's a truly secondary consideration. If the aircraft is clean and nicely-painted where it's sitting where the general public can see it, it sends the right message from a corporate-image point of view; almost nobody will know its age or condition. Some of the crappiest bucket-of-bolts freighters can look mighty nice on the exterior.

Hope this helps.
 
ThirtyEcho
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:42 pm

The stretch 8 that you show in your photo?

Because they are better looking and ride more smoothly than modern aircraft. The DC-8 can, also, use inflight reverse thrust for safety and the cargo appreciates the bigger windows.

You might get the pleasure of riding in one if you get in a box and ship yourself someplace.

There hasn't been a better airliner built since the stretch 8.
 
travellin'man
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:23 pm

There is another crucial piece of the puzzle which I am surprised has not been mentioned so far, something I once asked a few years ago here on the forum. It is easier to pass costs on to a cargo client than a passenger client, and the market routinely does so; therefore, cargo carriers have more downside protection when it comes to spikes in fuel costs, for example, because they largely pass the costs on to the client. Obviously there are limits to this, which is part of what prompts fleet renewals with new purchases; however, passengers are more fickle and are quicker to protest spikes in seat prices, which is another reason why passenger airlines have less flexibility when it comes to age of aircraft and the associated costs.
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PanHAM
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:44 pm

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 19):
Also remember that profit margins are way higher flying cargo versus people. So the fuel efficiency issue is probably negated by that alone.

 laughing   laughing   laughing 

Quoting Travellin'man (Reply 32):
It is easier to pass costs on to a cargo client than a passenger client, and the market routinely does so; therefore, cargo carriers have more downside protection when it comes to spikes in fuel costs, for example, because they largely pass the costs on to the client. Obviously there are limits to this, whic

 laughing   laughing   laughing 

Guys, there are two kind of cargo carriers. The Integrators., like UPS and FEDEX, who may make more revenue with one ULD on an MD11 than the conventional cargo airline makes with the whole plane load.

Then there are all the airlines that are belly only and for whom cargo rvenue is just an additonal income and they sell whatever rate the market can yield, be it profitabel or not and then there are carriers who operate both freighters and belly capacity. The likes like LH KE CX SQ who play both fields seriously have extrem problems to achieve yields that make their operations profitable. They can raise fuel and security surcharges and pass these on to the customers without paying commission to the agents collecting these, however that means in some cases, they are flying freight from Europe to Asia fpor ZERO plus fuel and security.

Still, these carriers usually buy new equipment,

Rule of thumb is - legacy cargo airlines buy new and almost new converted freighers. Good cargo only airlines like CV and MP buy new as well.

integrators buy new and second hand, bith UPS and FX bought new A300s FX did so with converted (+A310s) as well. UPS bought new 757, 767 and 744 freighers. These cash rich companies buy what they need and when it is more suitable to replace old 727s with second hand converted 757s - because there is no new equivalent available anyway and the utulisation is lower and therefore does not jusity new planes,. they do that.

All the rest - start ups in Europe, Asia and America as well as the cargo airlines in the Third World buy second or third or whatever hand even though they may achieve higher yields than legacy carriers, but their oiperation environment doesnot justify new planes.

The bottom line is formed by carriers employing An12-24-26-etc and Il76
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floridaflyboy
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:03 am

Quoting XJETFlyer (Reply 20):
How do the pilots feel about flying these older aircraft?

My dad flies for ABX Air, and he says the old aircraft are one of the biggest draws to flying cargo.

Quoting September11 (Reply 22):
I ask myself this question: will DHL buy DC9 fleet from NW in the near future?

Nope. ABX is in the beginning of a very slow retirement of the DC-9s. They won't be acquiring any more.

Quoting Chappie (Reply 28):
ABX Air are parking their DC-9 series aircraft this year, so I doubt that they will take any of NW ( or any other carrier's) DC 9s

Ummh, no they aren't. They are right-sizing the fleet, which involves removing some from the fleet, but in NO WAY are they parking them this year. It will be several years at least before the DC-9 is gone. The DC-8 on the other hand is definitely going away, maybe that's what you're thinking of.
Good goes around!
 
787EWR
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:48 am

[quote=Columba,reply=4]The fear of passengers on flying and old and therefore in their opinion "unsafe" aircraft is one reason.
I agree, but I wonder how Northwest gets away with using those old DC9's. I don't really know that I would want to board one to fly anywhere.
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:16 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Thread starter):
Surely it can't be more fuel efficient or cheaper in maintenance than a newer Boeing or Airbus?


You're right, they're not. But compared to the price of purchasing a brand new aircraft, operating these older birds isn't so expensive. Plus, you've got to remember that these planes aren't in the air 12+ hours a day, but maybe half of that or even less.

Quoting 787EWR (Reply 35):
I agree, but I wonder how Northwest gets away with using those old DC9's. I don't really know that I would want to board one to fly anywhere.

They get away with using them because they are well made and maintatined aircraft. As mentioned, the vast majority of the flying public doesn't know if the DC-9 they are on is 35 years old or two. And if you're learry about flying on a DC-9 for saftey reason, because it's an old aircraft, then apparently you're not very knowlegeable about commericial avaition! Give me a break!  Yeah sure

[Edited 2007-09-17 20:27:29]
 
787EWR
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:41 am

RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 36):
They get away with using them because they are well made and maintatined aircraft. As mentioned, the vast majority of the flying public doesn't know if the DC-9 they are on is 35 years old or two. And if you're learry about flying on a DC-9 for saftey reason, because it's an old aircraft, then apparently you're not very knowlegeable about commericial avaition! Give me a break!

I have not been on a Northwest flight in years, but I have an associate who lives near Memphis. He flew up to Detroit one afternoon. It was on a DC-9. He said internally, the plane looked dated. When the got into a bit of turbulence, he could hear some unusual sounds(like "creaking" as the plane moved up and down). His words not mine.

As for my knowledge of commercial aviation, I'm just like you, a spectator and admirer of these machines and the people who work with them. I'm interested in what people have to say and don't look to slam them. My OPINION is that I would feel more comfortable on a modern jet than a 30 year plane.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5038
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:01 am

Quoting 787EWR (Reply 37):
It was on a DC-9. He said internally, the plane looked dated. When the got into a bit of turbulence, he could hear some unusual sounds(like "creaking" as the plane moved up and down). His words not mine.

Since they have the 717 interiors that plane must be pretty dated, and I hear rattles and creaks turbulence.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19002
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:24 pm

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 31):
The stretch 8 that you show in your photo?

Because they are better looking and ride more smoothly than modern aircraft. The DC-8 can, also, use inflight reverse thrust for safety and the cargo appreciates the bigger windows.

You might get the pleasure of riding in one if you get in a box and ship yourself someplace.

There hasn't been a better airliner built since the stretch 8.

Fully agree. DC-8 remains my all-time favorite jet airliner.

There's still one way to fly on a DC-8 in a passenger seat rather than packing yourself in a box. Join the U.S. Air Force and get stationed at Thule Air Base near the northern tip of Greenland, the most northerly US military installation. A chartered ATI DC-8-62 or -72 Combi with 32 passenger seats at the rear operates once a week from BWI.
http://www.thule.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=5027

Photos of the ATI DC-8 Combi passenger cabin in the links on the left here:
http://www.airtransport.cc/BlueTails/ACphotos.html