How Much Does a Plane Cost?
In this video, I’m going to tell you how you can buy a commercial plane, how much it costs and why that may not be the best idea. There are some pretty crazy price differences and some planes are effectively worthless, despite costing half a billion dollars – so buckle up and let’s go shopping!
It is a great time for a fresh start, and if you were thinking of jumping into the airline game, you can pick up some jets for a sweet deal. But how much do you need to put aside to buy an aircraft and which plane is the cheapest today?
Before you buy, it’s worth pointing out how airlines themselves expand their fleets.
Here’s the thing – most airlines don’t actually own their aircraft. They do what is known as a lease buyback – buying the aircraft off airbus or Boeing and then selling it to a leasing firm. That way, they can slowly pay off the plane and still have the capital for operations.
Leasing can be taken so much further. Airlines can also ‘wet-lease’ aircraft from a leasing firm, this means that they are hiring not only the plane, but the crew, fuel, and even airline certificate.
Technically, at this level, there is nothing stopping you tomorrow from launching an exciting route from Why, Arizona, USA to Whynot, North Carolina, USA.
Buying Values of Aircraft
However, what is the buying value of an aircraft today? We see that airlines spend billions on airframes, but what is their order actually worth? Let us go from smallest to biggest with the figures from the 2020 plane prices. Again, this is not the lease prices but what the aircraft were actually worth in 2020.
Airbus A220 series
The Airbus A220 series can be owned outright from – $29.7M – $35.3M, or leased for $205, 000 – $270,000. The bigger A220-300 can be owned for $34.9M – $39.9M, and leased for $245, 000 – $310,000 per month. Pretty good for a brand new 100-seater aircraft.
Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series
Next up, we have the short-haul Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series. These aircraft are perfect for domestic city to city trips like New York to Chicago, or Melbourne to Sydney.
Starting with Boeing:
- Boeing 737-700 – $7.3 – 37.5M, $85-280,000
- Boeing 737-800 – $10.0 – 47.0M, $115-325,000
- Boeing 737-900ER – $18.8 – 49.0M, $200-340,000
The 737-900 is worth almost double the 737-800 and a better investment in the long run.
You will notice that the Boeing 737 MAX is absent despite having a lease price of around 120 million dollars. This is because the aircraft is still grounded and thus worthless to airlines.
As for the airbus series:
- A319 – $6.5 – 36.5M, $75-280,000
- A320 – $2.0 – 43.8M, $60-320,000
- A321 – $10.1 – 51.2M, $130-370,000
Then we have the latest version of the A320, the neo series which is worth:
- A320NEO – $40 – 49.5M, $295-350,000
A321XLR, which stands for ultra-long-range can’t be leased but only bought for US$142 million. This aircraft hasn’t reached the market yet, but is a game-changer as the longest range-single aisle narrow body with 4,700 nautical miles of range.
That’s it for short haul aircraft, and now it’s time to look at the big boys.
- A330-200 – $14.0 – 80.0M, $140-610,000
- A330-300 – $11.4 – 91.0M, $140-690,000
There are also the two neo-versions of the A330 which can be bought new for around $300 million US. There isn’t a second-hand market for the A330neo yet so you can’t lease them or get them cheap.
- B767-300ER – $3.2 – 35.5M, $90-330,000
The Boeing 767 can’t be bought new unless it’s a cargo aircraft – which we will get to later.
Now for Boeing’s new widebody line, the Dreamliner:
- B787-8 – $70.0 – 124.0M, $625-980,000
- B787-9 – $99.0 – 146.0, $820-1,100,000
The Boeing 787-10 has a lease price of $338 million. Again, new aircraft means that there is less of a secondary market for the type.
Boeing 777 series
Boeing’s 777 series is still popular,
- B777-200ER – $12.0 – 44.0M, $200-350,000
- B777-300ER – $50.0 – 156.0M, $500-1,330,000
The new soon-to-be-flying in our skies 777X can be yours for the low price of $442 million US. Again, it’s likely airlines are paying half of that lease price.
Now in the upper end of the Airbus market, we have the new Airbus A350.
- A350-900 – $104.5 – 154.0M, $800-1,100,000
The A350-1000 has a lease price of $366 million and there isn’t a second-hand market for the type yet.
Jumbo Jet prices
Now these aircraft are the biggest, but may have the craziest prices.
- Boeing 747-400 – $3.3 – 9.6M, $90-180,000
Boeing 747-8i – $US400 million new, but there isn’t much of a second-hand market today.
Now for the biggest reveal. The Airbus A380 was worth new $444 million, the most expensive on this list, yet today – only $66 million.
- A380-800 – $66.0 – 220.0M, $520-1,80,000
Now these numbers assume that there is a second-hand market, but in many cases like the A380, there simply are no buyers despite having a cheap price .
There are some aircraft missing from this list, but the market is so small for them that I’ve admitted them, like the A300 and the Boeing 757.
If you want to see how much a light aircraft under 100 seats and a freighter aircraft cost in 2020, then you can check out the next paragraphs – this market is a little different.
Regional Aircraft and Cargo Planes
Okay, let’s dive into the world of regional aircraft and cargo planes.
- CRJ700 – $4.8 – 23.0M, $65-185,000
- CRJ900 – $7.0 – 24.5M, $85-195,000
- Q400 – $6.4 – 19.5M, $60-175,000
- ERJ145 – $55,000 per month
- EMB175 – $9.5 – 28.0M, $120-225,000
- EMB190 – $10.5 – 32.0M, $130-245,000
- ATR-72 – $3.5 – 21.5M, $60-170,000
- A330F – $48.5 – 84.0M, $340-680,000
- B744F – $12.0 – 29.0M, $225-380,000
- B748F – $95.0 – 174.0M, $750-1,400,000
- B763F – $20.0 – 66.0M, $250-525,000
- B777F – $88.0 – 158.0M, $700-1,300.000
That wraps it all for today. Thank you for stopping by.
Interestingly, you can take a quiz on this topic and find out how many questions you can answer correctly. It’s right here. Good luck!