What is the approximate Cost Price of a flight ticket?

We all know that businesses operate only for profit. So I was curious: How much percentage of the income an airline like British Airways or Etihad Airways gets would be the profit? And how much percentage is the CP?

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Good luck trying to get that sort of commercially sensitive data out of an airline!!! :D

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Hey, we could at least make an estimate! Let’s see… Cost of fuel, Cost of services…

Sensitive? It’s not that hard, and it’s often public information as the airlines are public companys on the stock exchange.

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There is a fantastic Wendover Production video on it:

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Many, many variables here. Fuel prices, market capacity and competition, etc. Airlines are historically low margin operations…low single digits in many cases. When market conditions are bad some companies lose money and eventually have to file for bankruptcy or even cease operations. Right now with fuel prices relatively low most airlines are enjoying double digit profit margins.

Not answering the question but I have heard that the revenue from first class and business class is higher then the revenue from economy.

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I think it’s because it’s a bigger down payment when purchasing the tickets…

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Profits average on the order of $1 to $20 per passenger carried. Cost per available seat mile seems to be around $0.15 to $0.25. You can look at SEC 8-K for a specific airlines earnings report if you need more accurate numbers.

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You can get airline profit margins through their financial statements. If you want to know how much the airline is making off of you, I can say it’s not that much since you’re complaining that airfares are too expensive a couple days ago.

Not that hard?

No airline is going to reveal route specific information. To do so would play into the competitions hands and allow them to use competitors figures to decide if a route would be profitable for them. You don’t know specific yields, tiered seat pricing, aircraft leasing costs, navigation fees, airport operator fees, crew costs, admin costs, hotel costs if applicable, insurance, fuel hedging, cargo, training, catering, ground handling, services, cleaning, aircraft library, operational support etc. The list goes on.

Gross profits are available for listed companies but there are many facets to that figure not including just flight specific profits.

Commercial data including route specific figures are highly sensitive.

Edited to add, as Danman said, the yield, per seat kilometer, in standard seats is not very high.

He wasn’t asking for route specific information.

Read his question again, don’t make assumptions and try to make things over complicated.

Profit is what you get after paying fees for:

specific yields, tiered seat pricing, aircraft leasing costs, navigation fees, airport operator fees, crew costs, admin costs, hotel costs if applicable, insurance, fuel hedging, cargo, training, catering, ground handling, services, cleaning, aircraft library, operational support etc. The list goes on.

Correct on profit but what the OP is asking is what is the ‘actual’ cost price of a ticket, and what I’m trying to explain, without getting too complicated, is that you won’t get that figure out of an airline. They will report profit and loss but they won’t break it down to seat specifics.

In 2008, when all the airlines were posting losses from the financial crash, Virgin posted a profit. It was only later that it was found that the profit was gained by shunting the operating losses onto Singapore and taking the currency gain from foreign transactions.

So, technically, the airline made a profit but it had nothing whatsoever to do with the seat/ticket costs.

It’s not as simple as you think.

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You could give estimates if you can’t give actual CP.

Fair enough! The title is asking for one thing, the first post another.

No problems, it is a little confusing having the title and the thread somewhat diverging. :D

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