n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Using an operating cost model to analyse the selection of aircraft type on short-haul routes : technical paper

Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-2019



The airline industry is characterised by various challenging factors, including high capital costs, high operating costs and low profit margins. In the African situation, modernisation of fleets has been forced on the airlines by stricter noise and security regulations. Even though governments have resorted to privatisation, few investors are interested in airlines. They charge high airfares, but are nevertheless continually operating at a loss. The aim of this article is to use a recently developed operating cost model to analyse suitable choices, in terms of cost-related parameters, of aircraft commonly used on short-haul routes within Africa. All the parameters that are crucial in analysing a transport service are addressed, and the effect of passenger volume is analysed. The model was applied to a specific route within Africa, and subsequently to varying passenger numbers, in order to select the least costly aircraft. The results showed that smaller capacity aircraft, even though limited by maximum range, are the most economical to run, even when the frequency of flights is high.

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