Used B777-200ER or A340-300, Part 3

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By Bjorn Fehrm

Dec. 9 2015, ©. Leeham Co: We have now covered the Cash and Direct Operating Costs (COC, DOC) for our acquired and refurbished Airbus A340-300E and Boeing 777-200ER. We will now finish the article series by looking at the earnings capability of the aircraft and compare these to the cost.

We will start by examining the payload carrying capability of the aircraft over different stage lengths by means of the aircraft’s payload-range diagram. Any excess payload capability over a cabin filled to a normal load-factor will be used to add cargo to the revenue stream.

Finally, we will value the payload according to the market’s standard yields for Business, Economy and Cargo payload. With the revenue from our long range mission, we can then establish mission margins and see which aircraft is suitable for what mission type.


  • The 777-200ER and A340-300 are very close in operating costs in their base versions.
  • With the use of payload-range curves for the aircraft we can see that the 777-200ER not only has a higher passenger capacity (six seats, stretched to 30 with the refurbishment), it can also take more payload weight.
  • Excess weight capability can be used to load cargo but only if there is space available for the cargo modules when passenger bags has been loaded. We check if this is the case.
  • Finally, we check if the higher purchase price and conversion cost for the 777-200ER can be covered by its earnings advantage.

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