The Most Fuel Efficient Airlines in America

by Adam

A new report by the international council on clean transportation ranks the 15 mainline domestic carriers operating in the U.S. in 2010 in terms of their overall in-service fuel efficiency. This is the first such analysis done using publicly available data and adjusting for variations among airlines in business operations, networks, and scale to provide an apples-to-apples comparison:

1. Alaska Airlines
2. Spirit Airlines
3. Hawaiian Airlines
4. Continental Airlines (pre-merger)
5. Southwest Airlines
6. Frontier Airlines
7. JetBlue Airways
8. United Airlines
9. Virgin America
10. Sun Country Airlines
11. Delta Airlines
12. US Airways
13. AirTran Airways
14. American Airlines
15. Allegiant Air

Check out the full report here including measurement methodology and full statistics.

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ALCO September 16, 2013 - 11:26 am

The report doesn’t mention whether it took into account the efficiency of the fuel input itself. I’d have to imagine that the fuel that gets trucked, shipped or pipelined to AS bases in Alaska (where it runs a variety of milk-run/cargo-combi services to remote airports), costs a heckuva lot more (in terms of $, carbon emissions, etc) than fuel inputs in the lower 48. The same could be said of Hawaiian’s operations, as all fuel has to be shipped in to HNL.

It would be interesting to see a study that explicitly accounts for that.

scott September 16, 2013 - 10:39 pm

I just flew on Alaskan, and I’ll bet they achieved their efficiency by flying a lot slower than everyone else.

RNB September 20, 2013 - 10:35 am

The bottom line — buried well down in the report — is to get ICAO to establish a “standard” for carbon emissions from airline operations. The “standard” will eventually become a government requirement, to be enforced by a bogus “market” mechanism like the EU’s carbon emissions scheme. ICCT’s mission is to “mitigate” climate change. Any studies or policy recommendations made by them should be seen as enabling that goal.


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