3rd Edition

Buying the Big Jets Fleet Planning for Airlines

By Paul Clark Copyright 2017
    394 Pages 207 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    394 Pages 207 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Selecting the right aircraft for an airline operation is a vastly complex process, involving a multitude of skills and considerable knowledge of the business. Buying the Big Jets has been published since 2001 to provide expert guidance to all those involved in aircraft selection strategies.

    This third edition brings the picture fully up to date, representing the latest developments in aircraft products and best practice in airline fleet planning techniques. It features a new section that addresses the passenger experience and, for the first time, includes regional jet manufacturers who are now extending their product families into the 100-plus seating category. Overall, the third edition looks at a broader selection of analytical approaches than previously and considers how fleet planning for cost-leader airlines differs from that of network carriers. Buying the Big Jets is an industry-specific example of strategic planning and is therefore a vital text for students engaged in graduate or post-graduate studies either in aeronautics or business administration.

    The book is essential reading for airline planners with fleet planning responsibility, consultancy groups, analysts studying aircraft performance and economics, airline operational personnel, students of air transport, leasing companies, aircraft value appraisers, and all who manage commercial aircraft acquisition programmes and provide strategic advice to decision-makers. It is also a valuable tool for the banking community where insights into aircraft acquisition decisions are vital.


    Chapter 1. Foundations of Fleet Planning

    Chapter 2. Timing and Fleet Planning

    Chapter 3. Developing a Process

    Chapter 4. The Air Ballistic Case Study

    Chapter 5. The Market Evaluation

    Chapter 6. Cabin and Customisation

    Chapter 7. Aircraft Performance

    Chapter 8. Aircraft Economics

    Chapter 9. Investment Appraisal

    Chapter 10. Conclusion

    Appendix 1

    Appendix 2

    Appendix 3

    Appendix 4.1

    Appendix 4.2

    Appendix 4.3


    Paul Clark worked for more than 20 years at Airbus, then established and managed AirBusiness Academy in Toulouse for three years. He spent almost two years at the helm of IATA’s global training operation based in Montreal, followed by four years in the United Arab Emirates where he ran an aircraft maintenance academy on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government. He is currently based in the UK, where he runs his aerospace consultancy called Through The Looking Glass Ltd (www.ttlglearn.com). Paul is a former Visiting Professor at both City University and Cranfield University in the UK and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is the author of Stormy Skies and the creator of the SkyChess airline business simulation.

    ‘Buying The Big Jets is a comprehensive reference book for anyone with an interest in understanding how to go about selecting aircraft products and fleet planning. Paul Clark takes a methodological approach to explaining the process of fleet planning.’ — Dr Fariba Alamdari, Boeing Commercial Airplanes 

    ‘Unlike numerous other academic studies of airline practices, Paul Clark has created a practical, concise and understandable book that reflects the issues and methods used by real airlines to evaluate aircraft purchases. It is an excellent addition to any reference library for engineers and MBAs alike.’ — David Anvid, Aerofed Associates

    ‘What aircraft type to buy, how many, when and how are the most critical investment decisions any airline makes. Paul Clark’s book, well-structured and peppered with case studies, brings the whole complex process of fleet planning to life. This is a unique must-read book for anyone who wants to understand the airline industry.’ — Professor Rigas Doganis, Olympic Airways

    ‘This book was invaluable when I led fleet planning at British Airways. I think it is essential reading for anyone studying air transport management. The third edition has comprehensive updates and important additions, particularly the perspective of the manufacturers.’ — Richard M. Wyatt, British Airways

    ‘Selecting the right aircraft for an airline is a hugely complex task. Paul Clark does a brilliant job in breaking down the complexity and laying out the foundations for greater and deeper journeys into the fascinating worlds of fleet planning.' — Rogério Leão, Emirates Airline

    ‘Buying The Big Jets is my personal guide to fleet planning and airline economics. It is insightful and self-explanatory with a wealth of case studies and examples drawn from the author’s vast industry and experience. A must-read!’ — Cesar Souto Pereira, Embraer Commercial Aviation

    ‘Buying The Big Jets has become over time an essential reading for any aviation professional involved in aircraft selection. It is a unique and comprehensive review of the underlying forces behind the always complex but exciting fleet planning process.’ — Roberto García Mayoral, Iberia

    ‘A concise and informative must-read for anyone dealing with fleet planning and aircraft procurement.’ — Olof Nittinger, Lufthansa

    ‘Earlier editions of Buying The Big Jets have been educating numerous Chinese aviation participants and reshaping the industry. Updated with latest developments and the author’s in-depth observations, the third edition reflects the evolving dynamics of the aircraft business. It is a great work that will certainly continue to inspire its readers.’ — Yong Qiu, Three Oaks Aviation Consultancy Ltd 

    ‘Paul Clark’s Buying The Big Jets has been the most authoritative book on airline fleet planning for many years. This new third edition is more comprehensive and updated; a ‘must read’ for everyone in the aviation industry.’ — Dr Zheng Lei, University of Surrey 

    ‘Buying The Big Jets is a well-written, comprehensive guide to the essentials of fleet planning and a joy to read. In an engaging manner, Paul Clark clearly describes a process that he has helped us successfully use for our airline clients. For readers at all levels this book will become a trusted and invaluable resource.’ — Martin Braun, IATA

    'With so much in it, the book is hardly one to be read at a single sitting. It seems especially appropriate for two purposes: one as an accessory for a course in air transport, for which it is a great resource; and the other as a source of reference for somebody conducting research into some aspect of airline operations. It is written in an appealing style, so much so that this reviewer almost thought the author was writing for him personally! The book should come highly recommended; and this Third edition should be seen as a most worthwhile acquisition, even for those who already have an earlier edition.' - Dr J P Hanlon, University of Birmingham