Aviation

What are the hourly operating costs for the Airbus A320 family variants?

Purchase and operation of an airbus airplanes are not cheap, each unit sells for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. But have you ever wondered how much an hour’s flight on each of these planes would cost? Here is your guide to the cost of Airbus models every hour.

Data from the Aircraft Cost Calculator (ACC) uses a baseline of 450-650 flight hours per year to break down the hourly cost of each aircraft type. However, airlines use their planes for much longer and with more passengers each year, resulting in lower hourly costs but also much higher maintenance costs.

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A318 and A319

The smallest member of the Airbus family is A318, with a capacity of 110 to 132 passengers in a packed configuration. Flying 650 hours per year, the aircraft would cost $3.3 million to operate, which is $7,416 per hour. This includes fixed costs such as the aircraft itself and variable costs such as crew, jet fuel and maintenance.

The A318 and A319 are also popular long-haul charter aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Although the A318 is less popular with airlines, the same cannot be said about A319, which is the mainstay of the world’s fleets. The aircraft can seat 125 to 156 passengers in a commercial configuration with a range of 4,300 miles. Flying that plane for a year would cost $3.16 million, or $7,015 per hour.


A320 and A321

Airbus A320 is one of the most popular narrow-body cars in the world, with thousands already in service and thousands more on order. Still, flying doesn’t come cheap, with a new plane costing $101 million (spoiler alert: airlines usually pay much less when ordering large quantities).

The A320 can seat between 140 and 180 passengers depending on the configuration, making it an airline favorite. According to ACC, flying a jet for 450 hours each year would cost an operator $4.03 million, resulting in a cost of $8,958 per hour.

The A321 has quickly become a favorite of airlines hoping to fly further with lower operating costs. Photo: Airbus

Going a little more, the A321The -200 can accommodate 170 to 220 passengers in the quietest or highest configurations. Annually, the 450 hours on the A321 cost the operator $4.22 million per year, or $9,380 per hour. It’s a high cost, but it allows you to fly far with a lot of passengers on board.


There are also more niche versions of the A320 family, such as the ACJ320neo (Airbus Corporate Jet). Seating only up to 19 passengers, this aircraft can fly over 6,000 nautical miles (varies depending on the configuration chosen). 450 hours a year on this private jet costs $3 million, or a (relatively) reasonable $6,689 per hour considering how many long-haul flights are possible.

Each airline has different offers

While the hourly rate is useful for getting an idea of ​​how much private flights on modern jets cost, airlines may have various expenses for their aircraft. It depends on a number of factors, ranging from the price of each leased or purchased aircraft, crew costs and other variable fees. These numbers are also closely guarded for obvious reasons, meaning it’s hard to say how much each airline pays to fly their planes every hour.


How much do you think an hourly plane flight costs? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Airplane cost calculator

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