Commercial planes are enormous, quick, and an important part of the transportation industry, connecting people and businesses around the world. You’ve probably taken a commercial flight before, whether you’re a pilot, a passenger, or a business owner looking to enter the transportation sector. While enjoying the convenience of a commercial plane, you must have wondered how much does a commercial plane cost? Who purchases them? And is it possible for anyone to go out and buy their commercial plane?
The cost of a commercial plane varies greatly depending on its size and model, ranging from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. Aside from the initial purchase price, you must also consider repairs, storage fees, insurance, and fuel costs.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Does A Commercial Plane Cost?
- 2 Which Airline buys the most commercial airplanes?
- 3 How much does it cost to operate a commercial plane?
- 3.1 Airlines Fixed Costs
- 3.2 Flight Operating Costs
- 4 How Much Does A Commercial Plane Cost -Final Thoughts
- 5 FAQs
- 5.1 How much does a 6-seater plane cost?
- 5.2 How much does a private airplane cost?
- 5.3 How much does a commercial plane weigh?
- 5.4 How many planes does Boeing make a year?
- 5.5 Can I buy a commercial plane?
- 5.6 How much does a Boeing plane cost?
- 5.7 How much do pilots earn?
- 5.8 How much does it cost to run a 747 per hour?
- 5.9 How much does it cost to learn to fly a commercial plane?
- 5.10 How much is the cheapest commercial plane?
- 5.11 How much is the most expensive plane in the world?
- 5.12 How much do airlines make per flight?
How Much Does A Commercial Plane Cost?
Commercial planes from Boeing range in price from $89.1 million to $112.6 million, whereas Airbus’ commercial planes range in price from $89.6 million to $114.9 million.
Commercial airplanes are designed to transport hundreds of people and/or thousands of pounds of cargo, so they are quite pricey. Airlines are typical buyers of commercial airplanes because they generate money by buying and transporting people and goods.
When most people think of commercial airliners, they think of the Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-900ER, Airbus A319, Airbus A320, and Airbus A321.
Boeing vs Airbus: Which one costs more?
Let’s compare the similarly priced models from each manufacturer in more detail to determine which one is more valuable in terms of the number of passengers it can accommodate.
It is a twin-engined, narrow-body airplane. With a larger surface area, a wider wingspan, more fuel capacity, higher maximum takeoff weights (MTOW), and a longer range, it is one of the next-generation variants that was introduced in 1997. Just to mention this how much does a commercial plane cost? It has upgraded and redesigned interior configurations, a glass cockpit, and CFM International CFM56-7 series engines. It can hold 149 passengers. It costs $89.1 million.
It is also a twin-engined, short- to medium-range aircraft with a narrow body and shortened fuselage. The CFM International CFM56-5 or the International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500 engines are used to power the A319. It can accommodate 156 passengers and costs $89.6 million.
Which one is better?
The cost difference between the Boeing 737-700 and the Airbus A319 is only 0.5%, but the A319 has a capacity advantage over the Boeing 737-700 of about 4.7%. This parameter indicates that the Airbus A319 is more economical than the Boeing 737-700.
It is a stretched variant of the Boeing 737-700. It is the most popular narrow-body aircraft and the best-selling variant of the 737NG. It can accommodate 162 passengers in a two-class layout or 189 passengers in a one-class layout. It costs $106.1 million.
It is a family of narrow-body, twined-jet with two IAE V2500 engines or two CFM International CFM 56-5 engines producing 111kN to 120kN. Its fuel tanks have a capacity of 23,860l, giving the aircraft a range of 5,000km. The A320 is the first subsonic aircraft to use composite primary structures made of aramid fiber (AFRP), glass fiber (GFRP), and carbon fiber (CFRP). It has 180 seats and costs $98 million.
Which one is more economical?
Let’s find out how much does a commercial plane cost? These figures show that the Boeing 737-800 costs 8.3% more than the Airbus A320 while carrying 5% more passengers. Even though this doesn’t entirely offset the 8.3% price increase based on this single metric, the cost-effectiveness of the two models is comparable, with a slight advantage going to the Airbus A320.
Boeing 737-900 Extended Version is the Boeing 737 NG’s final and largest variant. It was released to address issues with the 737-900 and to close the gap left by the 757-200’s discontinuation in range and passenger capacity. The stretched jet’s range was comparable to other 737NG variants thanks to up to two auxiliary fuel tanks in the cargo hold and standard winglets, while its maximum seating capacity was increased to 220 people kudos to an extra pair of exit doors and a flat rear pressure bulkhead. It costs $112.6 million.
The Airbus A321 is a medium-range single-aisle aircraft with retractable tricycle landing gear and two wing pylon-mounted turbofan engines. It has a stretched fuselage and a reinforced undercarriage to handle heavier payloads. It has more powerful engines and a centralized fault display system (CFDs). The advanced wing design and flight controls improve maneuverability. It also accommodates 220 passengers but costs $114.9 million.
Which one is a better choice?
While both aircraft can carry a maximum of 220 passengers, the numbers show that the Airbus A320 is only 2% more expensive. Due to this, the Boeing 737-900ER is marginally more economical.
Based on the cost of ownership and the number of passengers each model can accommodate, Boeing and Airbus aircraft have pretty much identical cost-effectiveness.
Which Airline buys the most commercial airplanes?
Major airlines are the typical buyers of most commercial airplanes. Following is the list of airlines and the average number of planes they purchase:
- American Airlines purchases 20 planes annually.
- Delta Airlines purchases 25 planes annually.
- United Airlines buys 15 planes annually.
Many airlines buy airplanes per year, but these are the biggest buyers spending billions of dollars on aircraft per year. With nearly 6000 planes in the backlog due for delivery in the coming years, Boeing is the top supplier of commercial airplanes.
How much does it cost to operate a commercial plane?
Here is a summary of aviation economics.
Airlines Fixed Costs
How much does a commercial plane cost to fly? There isn’t that much money in the airline business compared to other industries because of the extremely high fixed costs of operating flights, so let us first have a look at fixed costs.
Aircraft Depreciation and Rental Costs
Jet aircraft depreciate at a 4% annual rate. Suppose an airplane has a 25-year operational life. Of course, an airline will not keep an aircraft for this long, but the aircraft’s remaining value is reflected in its secondhand value. Airlines do not always keep planes for that long, and there may be no one interested in them when they are released. Aircraft that can be converted into cargo carriers sell more easily on the secondary market. For instance, a new 777-8 aircraft has a list price of $410.2 million, meaning that depreciation could be as high as $16.4 million annually.
Aircraft undergo routine maintenance. There is also a system of more stringent A, B, C, and D checks. This could be considered a fixed or variable cost based on flight schedules. Each flight, like all fixed costs, has a cost that must be attributed to it. To keep an airworthy fleet, maintenance costs are unavoidable.
The cost of insuring an aircraft will be influenced more by the size of the fleet than by the number of flights.
Booking and Reservations Cost
Low-cost carriers find this to be an interesting market because many of them can save money by only offering flights through their websites. However, most of the time, airlines give a commission to online and offline travel agencies.
Staff and Management Cost
Depending on schedules, there may be some flexibility in changing crew salaries, but other salary costs are more long-term fixed.
Flight Operating Costs
These are the expenses airlines incur as a result of flight plans. Naturally, some of them are specifically connected to each flight and would not arise if the flight didn’t take off. Others are more long-term and dependent on the schedule as it is designed. Fuel costs account for half of all expenses, according to Jean-Paul Rodrigue in his book, The Geography of Transport Systems.
Cabin crew numbers are strictly regulated, with a minimum number for each aircraft type. Cabin crew may also be paid differently depending on their contract terms or location.
Crew bases and rotations are also significant cost factors, particularly for long-distance flights. To assist with this, many airlines have multiple crew bases. This reduces costs while also providing local crew for better passenger service and backup in the event of staff problems.
How Much Does A Commercial Plane Cost? How much does it cost to fuel a commercial plane? Fuel is a major expense for airlines, which is why they suffer so much during periods of high oil prices.
There are some strategies for dealing with volatile markets. Many airlines will purchase fuel options ahead of time to lock in prices. This can simplify planning and accounting and provide some protection, but prices will eventually rise as oil prices rise. More efficient aircraft help to mitigate the impact of rising prices.
Here are some examples of how much airlines spent on fuel on average in 2019:
- $27,270 from New York JFK Airport to London Heathrow (LHR)
- $10,757 from JFK to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- $19,190 from LAX to Tokyo Narita (NRT)
- $4,747 from Chicago O’Hare International (ORD) to Mami Airport (MIA)
- $7,201 from MIA to ORD
Airlines must pay a fee to land at any airport and use its facilities. Fees vary greatly between airports and take into account a variety of factors such as aircraft type and weight, landing time, and, in some cases, emissions and noise. Some locations charge a fixed fee and a variable fee. Airport parking areas have usage fees, which are typically based on aircraft size and time on the ground.
Airport and Government Taxes
These also vary greatly between countries and airports and change regularly. These are incorporated into the ticket price and then passed on to the appropriate government agencies by the airline. However, this is not always the case. Some low-cost airlines frequently offer ticket prices that are less than the total taxes.
Overflight Fees en route
Overflight fees are paid by airlines to the governments of each country they fly over on their routes. This includes air traffic control and other navigation services. This will be a single payment based on the aircraft type and length of the flight for flights just over the US or within Europe. The payments are much more complicated for a complicated route that crosses multiple countries. Some countries charge a flat fee, while others charge based on the distance flown.
Ground Handling Fees
There are third parties involved in turning around and serving an aircraft, in addition to the fees paid to airports and governments for landing and using ground services. The amount that airlines handle themselves versus how much is outsourced varies by airline and location. Costs for such services are difficult to obtain.
How Much Does A Commercial Plane Cost -Final Thoughts
Massive commercial planes occupy an important role in the transportation industry and their price ranges from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars depending on their size and model, insurance costs, storage, maintenance, and repair. Their buyers include some of the biggest airlines in the world. Commercial aircraft connect the world while giving their passengers the privilege of comfort, convenience, and quick transportation.
How much does a 6-seater plane cost?
New private planes start at $100,000 for a simple 6-seater and can cost up to $500 million for a highly customized plane.
How much does a private airplane cost?
A private jet airplane between $3 million and $660 million.
How much does a commercial plane weigh?
The world’s most common commercial airplanes weigh between 30,900 and 127,000 pounds.
How many planes does Boeing make a year?
Boeing delivered 340 commercial aircraft worldwide in 2021.
Can I buy a commercial plane?
They can cost millions of dollars and are not something that the average person can afford. You must have a large sum of money and be able to afford the plane as well as all associated costs such as maintenance and piloting fees.
How much does a Boeing plane cost?
The Boeing 737-700, with an average price of just under 90 million US dollars, is one of the least expensive models, while the Boeing 777-9, with a price tag of 442 million US dollars, is one of the most expensive.
How much do pilots earn?
An entry-level airline pilot (1-3 years of experience) earns Rs 1,847,573 on average. A senior-level airline pilot (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of Rs 3,308,320.
How much does it cost to run a 747 per hour?
Based on 450 annual owner-operated hours and a fuel cost of $7.00 per gallon, the BOEING 747-400 has total variable costs of $11,569,824.00, total fixed costs of $416,150.00, and an annual budget of $11,985,974.00. This works out to $26,635.50 per hour.
How much does it cost to learn to fly a commercial plane?
It costs $91,995 to become a pilot if you have no prior experience, or $71,995 if you have a private pilot certificate. Both prices include the necessary flight training and certification to become a commercial pilot, as well as flight instructor certificates.
How much is the cheapest commercial plane?
The Boeing 737 is the most affordable of its aircraft, with the 737-700 costing only $82.4 million.
How much is the most expensive plane in the world?
Air Force One, the world’s most expensive jet, costs $660 million. It’s a modified Airbus A380.
How much do airlines make per flight?
Wall Street Journal reported the average profit per passenger of the seven largest U.S. airlines in 2017 to be $17.75 for a one-way flight and the average profit margin was 9%.