How Much Does It Cost Delta To Operate A Flight Between New York And Los Angeles?

by Trefis Team
Delta Air Lines
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Have you ever wondered what it costs a big airline to operate one flight between New York City and Los Angeles? We have created an interactive dashboard that combines our in-house data analysis with our proprietary technology to give you the flexibility to understand how different cost buckets vary with flight length, aircraft sizes, and average jet fuel price for Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL). Our interactive dashboard can help you answer questions such as how costs, and consequently ticket prices, may vary according to routes and flight capacity, and how a 20% increase in fuel price may impact Delta’s flight operating expense.

Our base case shows a typical flight of 160 seat capacity covering nearly 2500 miles between New York and Los Angeles. Based on the figures reported by Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Delta’s own financial metrics, we estimate that it will cost Delta nearly $45,000 to operate one such flight. You can modify the inputs such as Air Miles, Number of Seats, Flight Hours, Fuel Price etc. to estimate flight operating cost for Delta for any route and for a plane of any size. Needless to say, fuel cost has the most variability. It accounted for nearly 22% of flight operating expense in 2017. However, employees continue to remain the biggest cost component for Delta, accounting for nearly 44% of flight operating expense. You can go to our interactive dashboard to see how different cost components can vary for different flight routes. For instance, while fuel cost is directly proportional to flight capacity, duration, and length, we estimate that maintenance and repair cost mostly depends on flight size and number of hours flown.


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