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Norwegian Air beats British Airways hands down on fuel economy

Norwegian AirA survey has found Norwegian Air aircraft use half the fuel that British Airways aeroplanes use. The International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) study found the Scandinavian low-cost airline has a 51 per cent lower fuel bill for each passenger-kilometre flown than BA.

The ICCT survey assessed the fuel-burning tendencies of 20 carriers which operate on transatlantic routes. The results show that for each litre of aircraft fuel, Norwegian Air averages 40 passenger kilometres.

Another European budget carrier, Air Berlin came in second with 35 passenger kilometres for every litre. Irish carrier Aer Lingus took third place in the fuel efficiency rankings. At the other end of the Top 20 table, BA and Lufthansa shared the ignominious honour of bottom place with just 27 passenger kilometres per litre.

Dan Rutherford is an ICCT researcher and writer and explained that the two main factors affecting fuel economy were how many seats were on an aircraft and efficiency. He claimed that Norwegian Air’s fleet was modern and incorporated the latest in fuel-saving technology while BA mostly flew much older 747s.

First and business class flyers contributed the most to the pollution and carbon footprint of flights. People flying in these classes caused about one third of an aircraft’s pollution, yet they occupied only 14 per cent of the available seats on board.

The ICCT report comes just ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to begin in Paris on 30 November. In September, ICCT research was vital in exposing the fact that Volkswagen was claiming fuel emissions on many of its car models were lower than they actually were.

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