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  • Fuel Economy and Mileage
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What is the cost per mile to operate a Boeing 747?


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Answered 2008-04-13 13:20:20

Ouch!...now there's a question. The problem with figuring cost per mile is that there are so many different kinds of "costs" associated with operating an aircraft. For instance, you can have a basic operating cost that only looks at the cost of crew, fuel, supplies for a particular flight, or you can also calculate in fixed costs associated with operating the aircraft such as lease (or interest) costs, insurance, maintenance, etc. Then, too, crew costs vary from operator to operator and expendable items such as fuel and oil can vary wildly from week to week, so a reliable total cost can be pretty hard to calculate. To give you a rough idea, however, we can look at fuel cost per mile for a 747-400 Freighter. Average fuel usage is around 3,200 gph and it cruises at around 585 mph, so a rough average fuel usage for a 747 would work out to around 5.5 gallons per mile. However, we're still left with figuring the cost of the 5.5 gallons of jet fuel, and that again depends on what price the operator is able to buy the fuel at. Today's fuel prices, depending on where and when it was purchased, can range from $3.50 to $5.50 per gallon and more. So, if we guess at an average of $5 per gallon, we get a cost for fuel of $27.50 per mile. This is a very rough figure for fuel costs only, and doesn't include any of the many other costs associated with operating the aircraft. Hope that helps some...

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