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Airline Fuel Usage and Carbon Emissions: Determining Factors

27 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016  

Jan K. Brueckner

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Chrystyane Abreu

UFRJ

Date Written: August 09, 2016

Abstract

Using annual data on individual US airlines over the 1995-2015 period, this paper presents regression results relating an airline’s total fuel usage to seven variables: the available ton miles of capacity (passengers plus freight and mail) provided by the airline; the average seat capacity of its aircraft, average stage length (flight distance); average load factor (measured by weight); the average vintage (construction year) of its aircraft; the percentage of the airline’s flights that are delayed; and the average annual fuel price. The results show how fuel usage and carbon emissions depend on a small set of crucial variables. The estimated fuel-price effect allows the emissions impact of an optimal emissions charge to be computed, and the estimated delay effect shows the emissions impact of an industry-wide reduction in flight delays. The regression model is generated from a theoretical framework.

Keywords: airline, emissions, emissions charges, carbon

JEL Classification: Q500

Suggested Citation

Brueckner, Jan K. and Abreu, Chrystyane, Airline Fuel Usage and Carbon Emissions: Determining Factors (August 09, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2844084

Jan K. Brueckner (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Chrystyane Abreu

UFRJ ( email )

Centro de Tecnologia, Bloco F, 108
Cidade Universitária
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941972
Brazil

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