Greener Flying: Top 20 Most Popular Airline Routes (Part 2 of 3)


Photo: Flickr, CC
#10 Bangkok -> Hong Kong ( miles)

  • Best: Emirates Airlines , Economy Class, 1,188 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Kenya Airways, First Class, 5,330 lbs CO2/seat

#11 London -> Paris (430 miles)
  • Best: Air Mauritius, Economy Class, 509 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: British Airways , Business Class, 1,362 lbs CO2/seat

#12 Dublin -> London (558 miles)
  • Best: Aer Lingus , Economy Class, 624 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Qatar Airways, Economy Class, 1,135 lbs CO2/seat

#13 Marseilles -> Paris (812 miles)
  • Best: Air Mauritius, Economy Class, 748 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Air France, Business Class, 1,552 lbs CO2/seat

#14 Bangkok -> Singapore (1,780 miles)
  • Best: Austrian Airlines, Economy Class, 1,209 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Singapore Airlines, First Class, 3,340 lbs CO2/seat

#15 Rio de Janeiro -> Sao Paulo (446 miles)
  • Best: TAM Linhas Aereas, Economy Class, 729 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: TAM Linhas Aereas, Business Class, 1,487 lbs CO2/seat

#16 Boston -> New York (374 miles)
  • Best: jetBlue Airways, Economy Class, 665 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Iberia, Economy Class, 1,952 lbs CO2/seat

#17 Miami -> New York (2,180 miles)
  • Best: American Airlines , Economy Class, 1,714 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Delta Air Lines, First Class, 5,341 lbs CO2/seat

#18 Atlanta -> New York (1,516 miles)
  • Best: Delta Air Lines, Economy Class, 1,396 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Korean Air, First Class, 4,116 lbs CO2/seat

#19 New York -> San Francisco (5,156 miles)
  • Best: All Nippon Airways, Economy Class, 692 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: Gulf Air, First Class, 2,191 lbs CO2/seat

#20 Hong Kong -> Taipei (1,030 miles)
  • Best: Alitalia , Economy Class, 3,209 lbs CO2/seat
  • Worst: US Airways , First Class, 15,954 lbs CO2/seat

What's Your Carbon Footprint?
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the average American has a CO2 footprint of about 20 tons (40,000 lbs) per year (compared to a global average of 4 tons). Looking at the numbers above, it's pretty obvious that for some people, flying is the majority of their footprint. The best thing they could do would be not to fly (in part 3 we'll talk about alternatives to flying), but the second best thing is probably to pick their flights using the best available data about emissions and then buy carbon offsets.

First Class Tickets vs. Economy Tickets
As previously mentioned, the difference between a first class and an economy ticket is real, but indirect. It can make a direct difference if you pick an airline that doesn't have a first class on its plane, so that the passenger density is higher than on a similar plane that has a first class. But if you pick economy instead of first class in a plane that has both, the difference mostly comes from the 'demand' signal that it sends. If x% of people buy first class tickets, airlines will try to organize their planes to meet that demand. If that demand for first class goes down, on average there will be more planes with a higher density of seats, thus reducing the carbon emissions per passenger.

But if that's too abstract for you, you can still use the TRX tool but only compare economy tickets with economy tickets... Even among those there can be a significant difference between airlines.

If you have missed part 1 of this series, you can find it here: Greener Flying: Not All Flights are Created Equal (Part 1 of 3)

Read part 3 about at alternatives to flying.

Tags: Conservation | Energy | Energy Efficiency | Transportation