jfk to madrid for 83 euros
I’m about to book a cheap flight from JFK to Madrid with Air Comet. There are some alarming and amusing comments about the airline online. See this page for example – search for hot red smocks and slit skirts. I flew that route with them about a month ago and everything went smoothly.
And the low, low, price? Just 83 euros one way!
According to this site a 12-hour flight needs 110 tons of fuel. Mine’s a 6:15 flight, so call it 55 tons of fuel. A ton is 2000 pounds according to google, so 110,000 pounds of fuel are needed. Jet engine fuel is like kerosene and weighs about 6 pounds per gallon. So that’s 110,000 / 6 = 18,333 gallons of fuel for the trip. Fedex charges a fuel surcharge when the price of jet fuel rises above $0.98, so let’s assume Air Comet is paying $0.80 per gallon.
Thus the price of fuel alone for the trip is roughly 18,333 x $0.80 = $14,666.
The plane is an Airbus 313, which has a capacity of 295. If we assume the flight is full, Air Comet needs to charge each passenger just under $50 for fuel alone. 83 euros is about $110. So Air Comet can cover the cost of fuel. Good.
Continuing, that leaves $60 of my ticket price times 295 passengers, or roughly $17K to pay for everything else.
This all assumes that everyone is paying the same low price, which of course they are not.
While googling for the above numbers, I found an article about the first model plane that crossed the Atlantic. It weighed 11 pounds (5 kilos) and got about 3,000 miles per gallon of fuel, i.e., less than $1 of fuel for the whole trip.