Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 Low Ranking for Fuel Efficiency

Posted on February 13, 2018 Jerold Perkins Aviation

Four engine jets, including the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380, put Qantas, Korean Air, and Asian Airlines at the bottom of the airline fuel efficiency ranking of transpacific flights. Hainan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA) are said to be the most fuel efficient with 36 passenger kilometers per liter of fuel, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in a white paper from 2016. These low fuel uses are accomplished in very different ways. Hainan Airlines has an extremely advanced fleet, with 81% of its available seats on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, while All Nippon Airways (ANA) burns more fuel but carries more cargo.

Qantas was at the bottom of the ranking with only 22 passenger kilometers per liter of fuel due to its high fuel intensity and low load capabilities with both cargo and passengers. The average passenger kilometers per liter of fuel within airlines is 31. Even lower than Qantas were China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Singapore Airlines, with 20 passenger kilometers per liter of fuel.

The International Council on Clean Transportation's (ICCT's) aviation program director, Dan Rutherford, found that the fuel burn per passenger rises with the size and weight of the aircraft, which is why the 747s and A380s look so bad in this report. Qantas is looking to replace the 747s with the 787-9s that have the twin engine controls. The most recent twin-engine planes with a wider body meet the requirements for a transpacific flight but with much lower fuel burn.

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