A question or two I have been trying to get my head around for a while-
What is the ballpark %of airline income that comes from carrying cargo in the bellies of pax aircraft?
What is the rough $ cost of abusing an aircraft with high payload/capability on routes that do not need that capability?
I'll use the pending EK 777-9 order as an example (maybe LH could be used aswell, I'm not sure I understand thier 779 order considering thier earlier statements). They are rumoured to be ordering around 100+frames of the 779 which is a long range high payload aircraft, with suggestions that they will eventually have 200+ of them. I can see a use of 50ish frames with high payload/range for the long range flights to LAX etc, but with another 150ish frames being abused on flights that don't need such good capability. I look at the EK routes and fleet and wonder weather they would be better off adding a fleet of 78J's or push Airbus for the simple streatch 35K's, or simply more 35J's to cover the many routes that don't need the extreme payload range, but has 90-95% of the pax capacity and still some payload to carry cargo.
I see many post stating that it is down to cargo revenue, and I agree airlines need to grab as much income as possible, but how much income do they actually get from cargo against the extra costs involved in abusing an airframe. I cant get my head around the benefits of abusing 150ish 779's (fuel, purchase costs, landing fees etc) over using an airframe better matched to the routes flown.
I apologise if the above seems a bit of a ramble, but I hope you get the jist of my questions and thank you in advance for any replies.