ONN – To Help Revive Air Travel During The Pandemic, Bring Back Boeing 747s And A380s, With Federal Subsidy To Help
A recent photo of a fully-loaded United Airlines flight, with a report that my favorite airline promised to leave the middle seats unoccupied, started this idea I’m presenting. The Federal Government under the Trump Administration should order the production and use of 747-8 aircraft for the major American airlines that just retired them, and then pay the operating cost.
The airlines would be under orders to sell just 50 percent of the seat capacity in order to maintain social distancing practices until a medicine is created that gets rid of the Coronavirus. But, even with a 50 percent rate, that comes to 208 passengers for the 747, and for the A380 that comes to 426 passengers. By contrast a fully-loaded every-seat-filled United Airlines 737-900 can fit 200 passengers.
The total subsidy cost should match the cost of flying and maintaining a multi-airline fleet of fully-loaded 747-8s and Airbus A380s over daily cross country flights for the next two years.
According to various sources, the average cost to fly a fully-loaded 747 or A380 is $30,000 per hour, per flight.
It’s difficult to determine how large an airline fleet of these wide-bodies would be, so let’s peg a number based on how many United Airlines operated, then retired: 16.
It would be unfair to give subsidies only to American airlines that previously flew 747s, so we should have a subsidy block that the airlines can apply for. The only caveat is that the carrier be based in America and the planes serve American routes. In other words, the subsidy can’t be used to serve the needs of international carriers in other countries.
The total annual cost of the program would be $25.2 billion.
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