You’ve certainly noticed before that low cost airlines, around the world, have a common practice. Generally have a fleet comprised of only 1 aircraft type. For instance in Europe Ryanair operates an all 737 fleet or EasyJet uses an all A320 fleet.
What is the Reason Behind This Practice By Airlines?
The answer to this question in all honesty is very simple. As everything done by low-cost airlines, the main reason is because it reduces costs. Which in turn means that it increases profitability on each and every flight that the airline operates.
You might be asking yourself how does this reduce costs? Having only one aircraft type means that the airline will have to train all its staff only for that one aircraft. The airline will have to have training facilities, flight simulators, trainers and technicians only for one plane type. This also increases operational flexibility as, any pilot or cabin crew can be used on any route across the network in case of need.
Also it will mean that the airline will have to have spare parts for one type of plane. Replicate all of this on fleets in excess of 100 aircrafts and you can immediately start understanding how this in the books easily is worth millions of euros or dollars.
Some Other Cost Reducing Practices
If you ever fly RyanAir across Europe I invite you to notice one thing while you’re seated. Look at the seat-back in front of you and you’ll see right in front of you the safety card plastered onto the back of the headrest. If you look down you’ll see there is no seat pocket.
This is not by mere chance, it is something that the Irish low-cost carrier does to reduce the turnaround time of the aircraft. It reduces significantly the time each cabin crew member takes to perform their checks before passengers board the plane. Which means that the aircraft can get back into the air quicker than if there were seat pockets.
Keep in mind: an aircraft is only making money while it’s in the air. An aircraft on the ground loses money every single minute.