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CAT medium helicopter operational costs

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CAT medium helicopter operational costs

Old 17th Feb 2021, 18:22
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CAT medium helicopter operational costs

As a professional pilot, luckily I've always been paid to fly, and not having been a manager I just have a rough idea of the operational cost of a helicopter used for CAT.

I could compare different types for their performance, flying quality, etc... from a pilot's point of view, but I don't know which type is the most profitable for a company to transport passengers.

For instance, let's say in the O&G related services, is it worth to operate an S92 that can carry a certain number of pax and cargo or is an AH175 more efficient although smaller? Or what's the cost of an hour in a AW189 compared to the AW139?

Anyone wants to share some data?
Thank you
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Old 17th Feb 2021, 20:15
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Originally Posted by Milo C View Post
As a professional pilot, luckily I've always been paid to fly, and not having been a manager I just have a rough idea of the operational cost of a helicopter used for CAT.

I could compare different types for their performance, flying quality, etc... from a pilot's point of view, but I don't know which type is the most profitable for a company to transport passengers.

For instance, let's say in the O&G related services, is it worth to operate an S92 that can carry a certain number of pax and cargo or is an AH175 more efficient although smaller? Or what's the cost of an hour in a AW189 compared to the AW139?

Anyone wants to share some data?
Thank you
Theres no straight forward answer to this, theres numerous factors that come into play.

To name a few:
lease cost agreement of said aircraft
aircraft owned outright by operator
Maintenance agreements
charging by the seat or the hour
prepaid flying hours / service charge
Charging from rotors or taxi
Operational costs
Client requirements on currency / qualifications of crew

The list is literally endless.. and all goes into the cost of the aircraft to run to a customer.

Depending on the customer the aircraft to customer x could be 1 and the exact same flight to customer y could be 2...
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Old 17th Feb 2021, 22:37
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Originally Posted by helicrazi View Post
Theres no straight forward answer to this, theres numerous factors that come into play.

To name a few:
lease cost agreement of said aircraft
aircraft owned outright by operator
Maintenance agreements
charging by the seat or the hour
prepaid flying hours / service charge
Charging from rotors or taxi
Operational costs
Client requirements on currency / qualifications of crew

The list is literally endless.. and all goes into the cost of the aircraft to run to a customer.

Depending on the customer the aircraft to customer x could be 1 and the exact same flight to customer y could be 2...
Just say you don't know.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 05:04
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I understand there isn't a simple answer.
let's try to make it easier.

The helicopters would be owned by the operator, in Europe, already paid. The route/customer they'll fly would be the same. Hangar or airport fees the same. Personnel costs should be quite similar (salaries, training,...)
So basically I'm thinking about maintenance costs, fuel eficiency, insurance, and maybe something else I'm missing.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 07:46
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Do not let the operator own the aircraft - they should be owned by a separate company then leased to the operator. This would be for liability purposes.

The magic number to break even is around 500 revenue hours per year.

This may help you establish a breakeven point:




In looking at costs per type you need to be looking into things like costs per seat mile.

Also, most important:

There is no such thing as a cheap helicopter!

Which applies to maintenance as well; if you save money one year, expect to spend it the next, in which case, be wary of buying machines with low hours - very often the maintenance will not have been kept up to date and it will be easier to buy a new engine.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 09:39
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Start off with a big fortune and make a small fortune.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 20:35
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
Do not let the operator own the aircraft - they should be owned by a separate company then leased to the operator. This would be for liability purposes.

The magic number to break even is around 500 revenue hours per year.

This may help you establish a breakeven point:




In looking at costs per type you need to be looking into things like costs per seat mile.

Also, most important:

There is no such thing as a cheap helicopter!

Which applies to maintenance as well; if you save money one year, expect to spend it the next, in which case, be wary of buying machines with low hours - very often the maintenance will not have been kept up to date and it will be easier to buy a new engine.
The chart shown suggest break even around 150 Hrs/yrs, the (presumably wiser) text says 500.
I'd think 500 is more the right number.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 20:48
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Well, it all depends...
I.e. insurance - if you have to insure, so that you can get a replacement helicopter after a crash - that will cost you some money
If you only have to insure third party damages - you can save a lot of money.
I know an operator (with a good maintenance facility), who can buy a helicopter every two to three years from the money saved on insurance, as long, as there isn't a total write off in that time.
(he is running more than one helicopter so)
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 21:45
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Ok. Let's put it this way.
I want to go from A to B, distanced.... 60 NM, in a helicopter and carry the most pax I can in the most efficient (cheap) way. Which one would you choose?

I could carry 57 pax in a 189 in 3 trip, the same in an S92. I could carry 60 in a 139 but in 4 trips.

So, what do you think?
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 22:56
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AW189 only 16 Pax OGP standard not 19 like the S92
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 00:51
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Milo

The helicopters would be owned by the operator, in Europe, already paid. The route/customer they'll fly would be the same. Hangar or airport fees the same. Personnel costs should be quite similar (salaries, training,...)
Even with an owned aircraft, its important to charge an internal lease rate for replacement provision. Otherwise, one is confusing revenue with profit. PM me with your email, I have some recent OEM info which will solve your conundrum.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 01:44
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Originally Posted by Milo C View Post
Ok. Let's put it this way.
I want to go from A to B, distanced.... 60 NM, in a helicopter and carry the most pax I can in the most efficient (cheap) way. Which one would you choose?

I could carry 57 pax in a 189 in 3 trip, the same in an S92. I could carry 60 in a 139 but in 4 trips.

So, what do you think?
Best of luck, you are possibly trying to follow a path where many others have failed..badly. Personally my money would go elsewhere, there are safer options for investments without the risk/no reward scenario that comes with the helicopter industry.

Sorry to be negative 😳
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 06:18
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Thank you all for your replies, guys.
I might have been misunderstood. I'm not really trying to set an operation. I wish I could invest any money into something. I feel happy I can still pay my bills.

I'm just trying to know which helicopter of the ones currently seen around, is more cost effective.

But thanks again
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 09:35
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I totally get what you are asking, but I would also suggest you are approaching the equation initially from the wrong direction. The starting point should be "how many passengers do I need to move?".

If you want to move 36, then a 139/189/175 will need three trips. An S92/225 would only require two and therefore wins
If you want to move 32, then the financially equation swings in favour of the 189/175.

The numbers to answer your real question are obviously known by some, but here isn't where you will find them as they are commercially sensitive

For "public domain" info, do a search for Conklin & de Decker, then get hold of a credit card
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 13:59
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The AW189 does have a 19 pax fit. For a distance of 60 miles Id happily trade off that comfort for what is a relatively quick flight. That then considerably changes thought process Vs a heavy.

LZ
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 14:12
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The picture above is just a representation, and how to do the calculation - it does not mean that you will necessarily break even at 150 hours....

Don't forget that with too many flights in a day, hotel bills might be important.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 12:04
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Milo,

DM me. I'll answer your question with some numbers which will help you.

NWS
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 13:40
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Originally Posted by nowherespecial View Post
Milo,

DM me. I'll answer your question with some numbers which will help you.

NWS
Dont tell him Pike!
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 17:14
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This is not trivial, because there are also differences in purchasing price and operating costs.

American Helicopters (Bell, Sikorsky): Very High purchasing price and high maintenance cost
Airbus: High purchasing price and low maintenance cost
Leonardo: Low purchasing price and very high maintenance cost.

So if you fly many hours per year, then an Airbus would be better, when you fly few hours, then Leonardo is better.

But then there is also the quality of service, availability of replacment parts, unsceduled down times, specifics about the size and shape of the cabin,...

There is a service conklin & decker, that makes comparable cost calculations (900$ per year)
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 17:56
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Originally Posted by MeddlMoe View Post
This is not trivial, because there are also differences in purchasing price and operating costs.

American Helicopters (Bell, Sikorsky): Very High purchasing price and high maintenance cost
Airbus: High purchasing price and low maintenance cost
Leonardo: Low purchasing price and very high maintenance cost.

So if you fly many hours per year, then an Airbus would be better, when you fly few hours, then Leonardo is better.

But then there is also the quality of service, availability of replacment parts, unsceduled down times, specifics about the size and shape of the cabin,...

There is a service conklin & decker, that makes comparable cost calculations (900$ per year)

Very interesting.
Thanks
Milo C is offline  

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