We have been tracking airline metrics for some time and noticed something readers might find as eye-opening as we do.  Using the US DoT data, we estimate the cost of each US airline’s operations per minute.  Here’s the latest data through June 2020.

The pandemic is doing great damage to the industry. Economies of scale work great when the industry is growing and able to squeeze in more . But the nature of this industry is that when the reverse happens, and too few people turn up to fly, the overheads associated with running an airline simply cannot scale down fast enough.  And that’s when you see the costs per minute spike as they have.

To give these data points context, through June, the US airline industry generated nearly 14.5 million aircraft ramp to ramp hours. Multiplying these costs across operations produces very big financial .

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