How Much Fuel Does A 737 Use? how much fuel does a plane use to take off? The boeing 787 fuel consumption per hour? Let us find out. This is a plane that promised to cut fuel and maintenance bills, fly further and cram in more passengers – manna to airline executives and shareholders.
More than 5,000 of the new Max planes have been ordered, mostly the Max 8 iteration, allowing Boeing to maintain the 737’s historic chart-topping sales in the face of competition from the Airbus A320 family’s latest “neo” planes.
how much fuel does a plane use to take off
While both manufacturers have launched more daring ventures with greater fanfare and mixed fortunes – Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the A380 superjumbo from Airbus – the Max was something else: a plane that didn’t rip up the model, but more or less matched the familiar, shorthaul workhorse. It replicated what airlines had already got, only better, lighter, and cheaper to fuel and maintain.
Buyers queued from every continent. In the UK, even the doomed Monarch ordered dozens, though the airline couldn’t quite hang on long enough to reap the forecasted annual savings of up to £3m a plane.
At a relatively affordable price, the Max – a single-aisle plane – had a flying range that opened up the possibility of using it on long-haul corridors traditionally the preserve of wide-body jetliners – an opportunity taken by Norwegian to fly new routes across the Atlantic.Timeline
Boeing’s 737 Max crisis
For most, though, the ambition was purely economic. Speculation long surrounded Ryanair’s next move when it grabbed a deal as the launch customer for another Max version, the 200, which it dubbed the “game-changer”. It ruled out long-haul, but added more seats to the cabin. The Irish airline has 130 planes on order, the first 50 due to arrive between May and the summer. Michael O’Leary said the Max would cut his rock-bottom costs another 5%. And passengers could still be promised more comfort, legroom and nicer interiors.
Which airlines operate Boeing 737 Max jets?
The stakes are now highest of course for Boeing, with a Max order book worth a nominal $600bn (£460bn). Airlines will have options elsewhere, but have planned growth and schedules on the delivery of this more fuel-efficient plane. The spectre of jet fuel prices that were twice as high a decade ago still lingers, and Boeing claim the Max runs on 14-20% less than the newest “next generation” 737s available before.
Should the 737 Max be grounded for long, conceivably more airlines could struggle and fares could rise. However, the price of operating a plane whose safety is in doubt could be incalculable.
How Much Fuel Does A 737 Use
So, how much of my airline ticket price is because of fuel? As airline flight prices continue to rise, we have probably all wondered how much of that is due to fuel prices, and how much is due to the airline trying to make a larger margin.
Let’s take a look.
Most of our flying is done on single-aisle airliners like the Airbus A-320 and the Boeing 737. We will typically see around 150 passengers on these aircraft.
A typical flight in the USA lasts 2 hours and covers 1,000 miles. Per seat, we have incredible fuel efficiency of 100 miles per gallon; imagine if our cars could achieve that sort of gas mileage.
Aircraft are Super-Efficient
We burn only 5 gallons of fuel per customer per hour. That is pretty fantastic.
So, on a 1,000 mile flight we burn 10 gallons of gas. Two of these:
An airline is able to buy fuel at a better price than we can at the gas station. It will be paying around $1 per gallon. So, your two-hour flight is costing $10 in fuel cost. That’s it.
Fuel Burn per Passenger
A flight between New York and Chicago takes two hours. American will sell us a seat for around $200 Return, Non-Refundable. That’s pretty good value. $10 of fuel each way, comes in at $20 – around 10% of your ticket price.
However, American would prefer that we buy the Refundable seat, that comes in at over $2,000. That’s insane. Our $20 of fuel is only 1% of the ticket price.
Travel Insurance Hack
If you ever wondered about the value of a Non-Refundable ticket, this should set your mind at ease. We will take the Non-Refundable seat, add $30 of ‘Cancel for Work Reasons’ Travel Insurance from AARDY, and save ourselves $1,800.
Fuel Burn to Carry our Luggage
So, if it only costs $10 for us to fly for two hours, how much does it cost to send an extra bag? A 35lb bag burns ½ gallon of fuel, which costs $0.50. That’s it – $0.50.
Luggage Fees Generate Massive Airline Income
When flying with American, the luggage costs start at $25 for the first bag, and rapidly increase to $200 each if you are carrying four bags. $0.50 in fuel can cost $200 in fees. Be careful when packing for that next trip.
Last year the Top 25 US Airlines made $4bn in Baggage fees, and $3bn in Reservation change fees. Your heavy extra bag is one of the most profitable lines of business for an airline.
So, Pack Light, Book Non-Refundable, Take out Travel Insurance.
The Five Best Planes To Choose For Your Next Flight
Most people outside the “avgeek” community, and the frequent flyers who are exacting about what they want in a flight (even if they’re not planespotters), don’t pay much attention to aircraft types. That’s a mistake, because the type of aircraft operating your flight can have a huge impact on the overall flight experience – especially if you’re flying economy, where every advantage helps. It’s understandable though, especially when you consider that an A330 on one airline may mean older seats and no mood lighting, whereas on another the same model could have a much more modern and comfortable cabin. Knowing what to look for as you search for flights to book takes quite a depth of knowledge and interest, and most people don’t have time for that.
It is possible, though, to give some general guidelines for planes you should keep an eye out for the next time you’re shopping for flights. These are the top five to aim for if you want a better flight (plus one to avoid):
#1. Airbus A350
The A350 has entered a number of airline’s fleets over the past few years and it is quickly becoming a passenger favorite. This fuel efficient twin-engined, long-haul plane is unbelievably quiet (though it still feels powerful) and boasts a lower cabin altitude, higher humidity, taller ceilings and bigger windows. It’s a good bet it will also have all the modern airplane perks like mood lighting and the latest entertainment systems and WiFi. Oh and then there’s the stunning tail camera. Seats in economy are usually laid out in a 3-3-3 configuration – the same as most Boeing 787s – but the A350 cabin is wider, so everyone gets more room to stretch out.
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#2. Airbus A220
The A220’s benefits are covered here at length, but to rehash briefly: it’s a fantastically roomy plane considering it’s relatively small (seat count just over 100), it’s quiet, and it has all the newest tech like nice lighting and more.
Some airlines that have it: Delta, airBaltic, Swiss, Korean Air, Air Tanzania. Coming soon: Air Canada, Air France, and more.
#3. Boeing 767
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This might be a surprise because the 767 is an older plane. But it’s still a transatlantic workhorse (turns out it ranks number three across the pond), and there’s one simple reason to choose it: a 2-3-2 configuration in economy. That means only one middle seat for every row, and for those traveling in pairs it’s a nice option for sitting together and having a window without a stranger sharing your set of seats. And although it’s an older aircraft at this point, most of the 767s still flying have the nice 777-style overhead bins and reasonably comfortable interiors anyway. If it’s between a 767 and a 787 (with its narrow 3-3-3 configuration; see below for more on that), I’ll pick a 767 every time.
Some airlines that have it: United, Delta, American, LATAM, Austrian Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines. Coming soon: None, but there are rumors that Boeing may launch a new-engined variant and extend its life further. We’ll see what happens.
#4. Airbus A380
The A380 may soon be a thing of the past after Airbus announced this year that due to slow sales it would be halting production in the next couple of years. But the double-decker behemoth remains a fantastic airplane to fly on, even if it’s a little too big for most airlines to make money with. It’s quiet and smooth, handles turbulence better than just about anything out there, and evokes a romantic, cruise-ship-in-the-sky feeling. Downsides: it has relatively small windows, its lower deck is almost overly cavernous, and boarding and deplaning alongside so many people at once can be a slow process. But still, it’s a very comfortable airplane.
Some airlines that have it: British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, All Nippon Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Qantas. Coming soon: Unfortunately there are unlikely to be any new airlines operating the type, and some of the above airlines may soon start to phase them out.
#5. Airbus A320neo
The A320neo looks about the same as older A320 family planes, but you can tell it apart by its much bigger engines and distinctive winglets. As an older aircraft with some design improvements, it doesn’t change the game for passengers like the A350 does, but you’re much more likely to come across an A320-sized plane, and if you do, see if you have the option of a neo (look out for code 32N or A20N). The big plus is a much quieter flight, plus likely a more modern cabin with nice lighting. It’s also fuel efficient and puts out less emissions. Downsides: it’s still a 3-3 configured plane in economy, which means that those who like a window seat have to be sandwiched in by up to two strangers.
Some airlines that have it: Delta, American, Frontier, Spirit, Interjet, SAS, British Airways, Lufthansa, TAP, Turkish Airlines. Coming soon: With over 6,000 on order, there are many on the way across the world.
And for one to avoid? This may come as a surprise:
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
It’s a good new plane in a number of ways, with many of the benefits of the A350 including bigger windows and a more comfortable pressurization and humidity. But it has two distinct problems. The first is relatively minor, but annoying: it has high-tech dimming windows (instead of physical window shades) that can be controlled by the cabin crew, meaning if they don’t want you to look out the window, you won’t get to. The second one is the dealbreaker: nearly all airlines use a 3-3-3 configuration in economy, and the cabin is really a little too narrow for that, meaning a full flight in the back of the plane is borderline torture with narrow seats and no shoulder and elbow room.