Used B777-200ER or A340-300, Part 2

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By Bjorn Fehrm

Dec. 3 2015, ©. Leeham Co: Last week we started our article series around acquiring used twin-aisle aircraft to start new long haul services or boost an existing network. We focused on Airbus’ A340-300 and Boeing’s 777-200ER, two capable long haulers, both with a capacity of around 290 seats, using our normalized two class cabin. We wanted to understand which one would have the lowest operating costs over a network which has flights up to 12-13 hours.

We analyzed the Cash Operating Cost (COC) of the aircraft in their standard configuration in Part 1. We could see that their COCs are similar. We now study the aircraft’s capital costs. These will include a necessary cabin makeover where we will use the chance for the 777-200ER to convert it to a 10 abreast aircraft in economy. We aim to amortize its higher acquisition cost by spreading these over more passenger seats.


  • The 777-200ER and A340-300 are very close in Cash Operating Costs in their base versions.
  • The 777-200ER has a market valuation which is more than double that of the A340-300. Recently this level has declined but the acquisition cost of a -200ER is still higher than the A340-300.
  • We use the potential of 10 abreast in economy to see if we can even the per seat cost of the two by spreading the higher costs of the -200ER over more seats.

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