Analysis of the recent evolution of commercial air traffic CO₂ emissions and fleet utilization in the six largest national markets of the European Union

This paper presents the results of a study performed to analyze the evolution of commercial air traffic and CO₂ emissions in the European Union, from 2010 to 2013. Data sources are the European Commission's Eurostat Air Transport Statistics (Eurostat) and EUROCONTROL flight plans database. The changes in the fuel efficiency are analyzed and the potential reasons for those changes investigated. The evolution in the airline fleet composition during the last decade is presented as one of the reasons for the improvement in fuel efficiency, measured in burnt fuel per total Revenue Tonne Kilometre (RTK), as well as the different parameters depending on the airline business model (network carriers, low cost companies, etc.) and the aircraft type. Results show a slight reduction in the traffic, both for passengers and cargo (about -0.8%), and a more important reduction in CO₂ emissions (-4.3%), thanks to an improvement in the fuel efficiency parameter (-3.5%) for the three years period. There has been a relevant change in the fleet composition in the last ten years, with the replacement of older models for more efficient ones, and a shift to larger aircraft, particularly in the regional segment. Traffic has decreased in shorter distances (internal EU traffic), but increased in more efficient long range flights (extra-EU traffic), resulting also in an improvement of the efficiency parameter as average aircraft size and stage length increases.


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  • Accession Number: 01605536
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2016 1:49PM