American Airlines, US Airways and Delta Air Lines are among the least efficient domestic carriers, according to a new report by the International Council of Clean Transportation.
The U.S. Domestic Airline Fuel Efficiency Ranking 2010
, which uses the most recent data available, found that Continental and Southwest are among the top-five most efficient carriers. United Airlines represents the industry average, but is only eighth on the list of the 15 most fuel-efficient airlines.
“Many, although not all, of the carriers with worse fuel efficiency than the industry average were, or subsequently have been, the subject of merger activity,” according to the report. “The least efficient airline in this ranking, Allegiant Air, also happened to have the most profitable U.S. domestic operations during the 2009 to 2011 period.”
The authors of the study came to the conclusions that fuel prices are not a significant deterrent of airline inefficiency; some airlines are more efficient on specific routes; and airlines, in general, need to be subject to more specific efficiency reporting guidelines in order to create better data.
They went on to suggest that new policies need to be put into place to encourage efficiency.
“Although technology utilization is important, operational practices vary significantly from airline to airline, impacting in-service fuel efficiency,” the report said. “To address the energy and environmental effects of aviation, policies that facilitate and encourage efficient operations as well as technologies should be considered.”
The full report is available here.
- Jon Ross