24/7 Wall Street recently published an article highlighting the cost of canceling a flight – both due to the uncontrollable factors, such as weather, or controllable factors, such as scheduling of the crew.
We’ve seen a lot of cancellations recently – mostly due to the mess in Chicago a few weeks ago.
There are some interesting data points worth sharing, which I’ve compiled here:
- It costs an airline an average of $5,770 per flight segment for a cancellation.
- With over 9,000 canceled flight segments in the past 30 days, airlines have lost 52 million dollars.
- For an event the airline should have been able to control, a wide-body 777, 747 or A340 could cost as much as $43,000 for a canceled flight.
- For an event like weather, a wide-body 777, 747 or A340 could cost the airline $13,000 for a canceled flight.
- For a controllable event, a regional jet costs the airline $2,750 for a canceled flight, vs. about $1,000 for an uncontrollable event.
- Regional jets canceled 2.6% of their scheduled flights, compared to just 1% of both narrow body (737s, etc.) and wide-bodied (777, etc.) aircraft.
- For uncontrollable flight delays (weather, etc.), regional jets account for 69% of cancelled flights, narrow body jets cancel 58% and wide-body jets canceled 42.8%.
Of course, the more First and Business Class customers there are on a flight, the more it costs the airline to try and re-book them, thus taking up other valuable seats. While airlines do save costs on canceled flights since they don’t have to provide food and fuel, those costs are taken into account with the losses, and the airline, as a whole, will always loose more on a canceled flight than gain.
It’s some interesting data points, for sure, and provides a unique insight into the daily operations of the major carriers.
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