atmosfair index - co2 - the most climate-friendly airlines 2018

The 10 most climate-friendly airlines 2018

Jennifer Weitbrecht
3 minutes

The climate protection organisation atmosfair specialises in travel, and one of its publications is its annual Airline Index. This ranks the biggest 190 airlines in terms of their environmental efficiency by comparing their aircrafts’ CO2 emissions against their transportation capabilities. This is a competitive factor that should not be underestimated.

atmosfair’s Airline Index uses the following criteria:

The airlines’ CO2 emissions are calculated using detailed information on each of the criteria. This is done using official data from authorities, specialised data providers, and computer models provided by aircraft engineers. This data is accurate to around two percent.

How is atmosfair’s Airline Index compiled?

The airlines’ CO2 efficiency is evaluated according to short-, medium- and long-haul categories. This makes it easier for travellers to make the best decision for their particular flight. All they need to do is determine the distance to be flown and then look at the appropriate distance category to find the most efficient airline. Rankings are given in points from 0 to 100.

The most climate-friendly airlines overall and by distance

Total rankingAirlineReach < 800 kmReach 800 – 3,800 kmReach > 3,800 km
1.TUI Airways UKRank 17Rank 2Rank 1
2.Latam Airlines BrasilienRank 3Rank 1Rank 18
3.China West AirRank 2Rank 4
4.TUIfly DeutschlandRank 10Rank 5Rank 3 FrankreichRank 1Rank 7Rank 4
6.SUN Express TürkeiRank 101Rank 9
7.Thomas Cook Airlines UKRank 64 Rank 3Rank 9
8.Air Europa Express SpanienRank 9
9.Condor Flugdienst DeutschlandRank 92Rank 6Rank 20
10.Juneyao Airlines ChinaRank 15Rank 15

The detailed ranking, plus additional information on the atmosfair Airline Index and the most climate-friendly airlines, is available here.

Short-, medium- or long-haul flights – which are the most climate-friendly?

Calculating a car’s environmental efficiency is easy: CO2 per kilometre or litres of petrol per 100 kilometre. For flights, the matter is somewhat more complicated. Every plane that takes off must first reach a minimum cruising altitude, regardless of how far it travels after that. This makes short-haul flights the losers in this comparison, with the highest CO2 emission levels per passenger and kilometre. Assuming that long-haul flights are the most environmentally friendly, however, would be incorrect. Here, we run into the problem that planes must carry a great deal of fuel with them in order to reach their destination. The most climate-friendly flights, therefore, are the medium-haul ones.

Efforts are also being made to reduce aircrafts’ CO2 emissions through the use of alternative fuels, a topic we previously reported on in this article.

Cover picture – pixabay geralt

by Jennifer Weitbrecht

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