To be fair…

Ryanair has a bit of an image problem even though its planes are packed! Just because portions of the population think that Ryanair would charge you for breathing if they could get away with it doesn’t mean that they don’t fly to places that people want to go (or just down the road from them anyway!) and do so cheaper than most. But when I saw on a TV advert that Ryanair were claiming to be low cost and low CO2 emissions then I was doubtful about the latter.

But, to be fair, according to Ryanair, because their flights are full and their planes are new, then the emissions per passenger mile on their flights are low.

Yes, I know that it would be better not to fly at all (and generally I don’t – I haven’t been on a plane for 13 months (since this)) but it is a sign of progress when an airline is making much of the fact that its emissions are lower than its rivals. Or don’t you think so?

So, I was sceptical but now I am slightly impressed.

And here are those monthly CO2 figures – click here.

And in somewhat related news, when a Telegraph travel writer is planning to reduce his flights then the world really is changing its mind, and slowly, its actions. I think some twitchers may be the last people to give up plane travel.

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9 Replies to “To be fair…”

  1. Hang on, is this right? They have the youngest fleet. Ok, so they buy newer planes more often than the other guys. How much CO2 does it cost to build a plane? Is it more efficient to make them last a little longer? If you ran a plane for say, twice as long as Ryan, it’s running costs would be lower but the CO2 it produces whilst running would be higher.
    Put it another way, when do you renew your car? Is scrappage even effective or efficient. Mines done 105k(petrol), Mark’s has done 250k(assuming diesel), whose car was most efficient new and whose car has been most efficient over its lifetime?
    These things are not black and white and it’s making my head hurt thinking about them.
    I run on Rioja and I’m going back to it!

    1. Paul - that appears to be your 400th comment here - thank you.

      Good point but you'd have to know where the old planes went. Were they sold on to other airlines in which case your point is met. I just have a feeling that Michael O'Leary wouldn't scrap his planes if he could flog them to someone else.

  2. Saying your co2 per passenger mile is lower than other airlines is all a bit deckchairs-on-the-titanic. And we only have to wrestle with these questions because there's far too many of us on the planet at one time. #1percentgoal

    1. m parry - bit unfair, IMHO. It's better, actually a lot better, than not looking at your CO2 per passenger mile. What are the equivalent figures for, say, Cathay Pacific or American Airlines I wonder?

      1. Possibly, though if it turns out to be window dressing and yet encourages more people to fly (because they feel less guilty) then is it a positive thing? That is surely what this is all about. So need to look at CO2/passenger mile AND total passenger miles.

    2. The environmental problems we face would undoubtedly be much less acute if there were far fewer of us but whilst it is easy to see the truth in that it is less obvious how we can reduce the world's population levels at the kind of rate necessary to resolve these problems. It is widely accepted that as societies become more economically secure, birth rates go down (but also their resource consumption per capita increases) but this proceeds slowly and it seems probable that birth rates will remain high in many parts of the world for some time to come. I believe currently about 80 countries have fertility rates below replacement.
      China and India have both in the past pursued draconian policies to reduce birth rates and population growth but are you prepared to go along with the curtailment of human rights associated with that approach? I would be interested to hear your suggestions for how population levels can be reduced soon enough to prevent us experiencing 1, 2 or more degrees of warming.

  3. The lowest passenger emissions per mile are from Airlines with no aeroplanes and no passengers otherwise it's just virtue-signalling greenwash from the least worst Fokkers

  4. Does anyone else remember the old (70s maybe) BA adverts where they boasted if you were the only passenger booked on it they'd still fly a passenger jet just for you? I recall they used an image of one passenger being attended to by a stewardess, sitting in a 747 on their lonesome. I thought it was terrible back then because what it said about wasting fossil fuels, imagine what would happen if such an advert was run now!?! That's definite progress, I wish the negative reaction it would undoubtedly get was more about misuse of natural resources than carbon emissions, but we're zig zagging in the right direction at least.

  5. Nice one Mark. they have done their bit now we do our bit- and don't fly so much. What was that about twitchers flying to Eilat and driving round looking for birds?

    Can someone explain Greenpeace logic - blaming BP for extracting oil out the ground. I always thought it was me who drove the car and burnt the petrol. Silly me.


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