Staff blog: Aviation

Around Mother’s Day, media outlets often publish articles about where the flowers we buy often originate and the extraordinary efforts taken to transport them to the U.S. How much jet fuel is burned importing the flowers and, in turn, how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted?
IMO and ICAO, the sister UN agencies governing international shipping and aviation, have both struck global deals on greenhouse gas emissions. But why, oh why ICAO, can’t you be more like your sister?
With the exit of Delta and United from the Persian Gulf market, one would expect that there was some impact on the market’s average fuel efficiency. But, is it due to a less diverse mix of aircraft, or something else?
Two recent ICCT studies on the fuel efficiency of airlines revealed different gaps between the most and least efficient airlines operating transatlantic and transpacific routes. Could this be due to passenger load and frieght carrage?
One might assume that the larger the plane, the more fuel-efficient it is per passenger due to economies of scale. But in the case of flights over the Pacific, conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong. Size matters, but not in the way you think.
Would ICCT's recent transpacific fuel efficiency ranking change if dedicated freighters were taken into account? Did the rankings incorrectly reward airlines for carrying belly freight when putting that cargo on a dedicated freighter would have saved more fuel overall? The numbers show that, since increasing payload to aircraft's structural maximum increases the fuel efficiency of each flight, belly freight is indeed one weird trick for improving airline efficiency.