Thursday, April 18, 2013

Would you buy a used airliner from this man?

A series of articles in Aviation Week about end of life for airliners.  The airlines now retire an airliner after 20 years of service, which sounds kinda young for something that lasts forever.  I mean the B-52s have been flying for 50 years and will fly for a lot more.  Speaking as a passenger, the new airliners are no faster and no comfier than the old ones. 
   The brand new airliners have somewhat better fuel economy which the airlines figure will pay off eventually  Boeing and Airbus are claiming their next year's models will have 10 even 15 percent better fuel burn than current models.  I haven't worked the numbers, but it seems like it will take a long time to pay off a $100 million new airliner on 10% better fuel burn. 
   When parted out, the engines and avionics can be resold for big money.  It's possible to realize $15 million in parts sales from a tired airliner you can buy for $5 million.  Doing so requires good timing, the parts are only worth money as long as airliners of that model are still flying. 
   Boeing and Airbus have backlogs of a couple of thousand new airliners.  Due to the continuing Great Depression 2.0  air traffic isn't growing much.  Does this mean a couple of thousand new airliners causes a couple of thousand old ones scrapped?

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