Is cargo capacity deciding the airliner variant?

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By Bjorn Fehrm


September 23, 2021, © Leeham News: In last week’s article, we put the question: Has the increased cargo pricing started to affect the choice of airliner variant?

We listed recent decisions between the Boeing 787-8 and -9 or Airbus A330-900 and A350-900 where the traffic levels post-pandemic would motivate the smaller variant, but the larger was retained or selected.

It makes you wonder whether the higher cargo capacity of the larger variant compensates for flying a larger cabin at a lower load factor? We make a cost and revenue analysis to find out.

  • Cargo was an additional revenue stream on top of the main source, the passenger traffic.
  • The lower traffic levels for international long-haul traffic and the increase in cargo pricing have changed this. Cargo is now as important in the decision of which aircraft to choose as the passenger capacity.

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