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Thread: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

  1. #1
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    We've heard plenty in the news about the cost of a barrel of oil going up, and how much airlines will lose overall as a result, but I, and I'm sure many of you, like real numbers. Airlines don't buy barrels of oil, they buy jet fuel. So how much does it cost to top off a 747 these days? USA Today has an article which goes into detail...

    United Airlines. It currently spends about $173,000 to fuel a Boeing 747 for a flight from Chicago to Hong Kong, roughly double what it cost four years ago. United has to get nearly $500 in revenue out of each of the 347 seats on that plane just to pay for the fuel — and it still has to cover other expenses, including crew salaries, in-flight meals, the plane's upkeep, marketing and the cost of the jet itself.
    :arrow: High-priced fuel scares airlines
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. —Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

  2. #2
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    Re: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    Those numbers are staggering....! I would not want to be a CEO of an airline today.

  3. #3
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    Re: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    I agree - those numbers are just unbelievable. The costs of operating just a single flight, let alone an entire airline, are astronomical. I still have to wonder how an airline could possibly generate a profit at the end of the day.
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  4. #4
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    Fuel aside, the other costs of running an airline simply blow my mind. I don't know how ANY airline has posted a profit over the past 30 years.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    Now is this the going rate or at the rate United actually is paying? These airlines do get some bulk discounts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Speedbird1's Avatar
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    Re: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    I thought that Jet Blue was doing well when it first started service but now even they are having trouble to make ends meet. They spend about $15,000 on jet fuel to fly from JFK to LAX.

  7. #7
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    Re: Jet Fuel Prices in Real Numbers

    Airlines sometimes "hedge" fuel which is similar to agreeing to pre-purchase your home heating oil for the winter season for a discount as long as you buy it an advance. The advantage is as fuel continues to get more pricey, you've locked yourself in at a lower rate. The downside is should prices fall , you've now paid more for fuel than you could've. It rarely happens but but it has happened.

    This is the biggest reason Southwest remains successful. They are insulated from high fuel prices to a certain degree.

    When figuring a 747 , it burns an average 25,000lbs of fuel each hour. or abot $13,100/hr based on 3.50/gal

    Then multiply that over a typical 10hr flight from HKG-ANC or 13hr 10min from ICN-LAX . It gets very difficult to break even.

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