How good is a used 767-300ER? Part 3

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By Bjorn Fehrm


Jan. 4 2016, ©. Leeham Co: Before Christmas we started our Boeing 767-300ER article series around acquiring used twin-aisle 767 aircraft to upgrade Boeing 757-based long haul services. We compared the aircraft’s base characteristics in Part One and then their Cash Operating Cost (COC) in Part Two.

Now we continue by analyzing the Direct Operating Cost (DOC) of the aircraft. This adds capital costs to the other operating costs for the aircraft. As the reason for our renewed interest in the 767-300ER is the attractive prices on the used market combined with low fuel prices, the capital costs are an important part of the overall understanding of the costs for the aircraft.

In our assumptions, the 767 is bought as a 10 year old aircraft and then refurbished. It is then operated on a six year financial lease, as is our 757 that we replace. Our benchmark aircraft, the Airbus A330-200 flying in a mainline airline, was bought new in 2009 and is operated on a 10 year financial lease.


  • The low capital costs of the 767-300ER makes it cost competitive in the fuel scenarios that are likely within its six year lease period.
  • The 757-200W has fractionally lower direct seat mile costs than the 767, but it has lower capacity and its more limited range reduce its operational usefulness.
  • The A330-200 has the best operational flexibility but its higher capital costs makes it the most expensive aircraft to operate in the period of interest.
  • In a final article, we will add the revenue capability of the aircraft. This is where the A330-200 gets the chance to show if it can cover its higher direct costs with its higher earnings capability, thereby generating more value for the airline.

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