Do Low Fuel Prices Make Larger Aircraft More Viable?


The lower demand for jet fuel over the past 12 months due to travel restrictions has become an opportunity for some airline operators, who have claimed that the cheaper price of filling up plane and storage oil tank installations makes their larger planes even more viable.

Tim Clark, CEO of the Emirates airline claimed that their flagship Airbus A380 mega-jet accounted for 85 per cent of their profits before travel was restricted and the low price of fuel makes it even more affordable, according to an interview with Simple Flying.

This is somewhat unique, as the A380 has largely been seen as a major failure by other airlines. The reason for this is the very same reason why the A380 is so profitable to Emirates: its sheer size.

With most commercial aircraft having enough capacity for 250-300 people, the A380 can carry 500 in its standard configuration, which makes it extremely good value for money when it’s full.

However, almost no routes have so much demand that you would need a 500-seat aircraft all year round, and if the plane is not full it becomes a major money sink for operators.

Emirates, having a monopoly on one of the busiest routes in the world from Europe and America to Asia via Dubai, can find a major advantage with it. But for other routes, such as American Airline’s London to New York route, they prefer to run two smaller planes a day for much less risk.

However, for Emirates, and the few operators still using planes that large, there is a golden opportunity to boost profits by taking advantage of low fuel prices.


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