One or Two hops cheapest for long flights? Part 2

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By Bjorn Fehrm


June 2, 2022, © Leeham News: We tested the notion that it’s more economical to divide a long flight into two shorter flights last week. The test was a typical long-range flight of 11 to 12 hours.

We found that if all operational costs are counted (the so-called Cash Operating Costs, COC), the theory didn’t work. You gain on fuel costs, but you are doubling other costs like landing fees, etc.

Now we test the theory on an Ultra Long Range (ULR) flight, using our Performance and Operational Cost model.

QANTAS 787-9. Source: QANTAS

  • The widespread idea of two shorter flights being more economical than a single long flight applies to ULR flights.
  • The theory says this is because a long flight takes more fuel than two shorter flights. It’s not the main reason why the theory holds for ULR flights.

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