Although Corona is the single dominating topic in the aviation world at the moment, the aspect of sustainability hasn’t vanished. On the contrary, eco friendly operations will be critical for every airline in the next decades.

And it was good to see that many airlines —at least before Corona— have started to take the topic seriously. Moreover, many airlines invested immense sums in becoming more eco friendly. 

But what are the results? And which airlines have done good so far and which need to do some homework? Since we work closely with airlines in performance monitoring and fuel efficiency, we were curious to know the details.

That’s why we went through many reports that rate airlines, according to eco-friendliness. After analyzing many of them, we believe that atmosfair provides the most comprehensive and reliable information about eco-friendly airlines.

How atmosfair Rates Eco Friendly Airlines

The atmosfair Airline Index compares and ranks the carbon efficiency of the 200 largest airlines of the world. The formula contains every flight the aircraft type, engines, winglets, seating and freight capacity, and load factors for both passengers and co-loaded freight. 

World’s 30 Most Eco Friendly Airlines — Highlights

In case you don’t have time to go through the entire list, here are the essential aspects of the 2018 report.

European Airlines Are The Most Eco Friendly

It seems that European airlines take the topic of sustainability super seriously. Three out of the top five eco friendly airlines are based in Europe. On top of that, when we take a look at the top ten, we find seven European airlines among the most eco friendly airlines. And when taking a look at the top 30, you will recognize that European airlines account for 33% of the most eco friendly airlines. I’d say: Well done!

China Surprises — Positively

I want to very honest. When I started collecting the data, I didn’t expect to find many carriers from China among the top 30 most eco friendly airlines. If you are from China and reading this right now, I genuinely apologize for my prejudice because the opposite is the case. Not only that, a Chinese airline is ranked 3rd (China West Air); we can also find seven Chinese carriers among the list of top 30 most eco friendly airlines.

US & North American Airlines Badly Disappoint

Actually, a result that was even more surprising than to see so many Chinese airlines. I definitely expected to see —at least— many airlines from North America in the list of the 30 most eco friendly airlines. Certainly more than from China, Asia, or South America. However, only three airlines, one from the US and one from Canada, made it to the top 30. So, there’s definitely room for improvement!

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World’s 30 Most Eco Friendly Airlines — The Detailed List According To Atmosfair 2018

RankAirlineContinentEco Points
1TUI AirwaysEurope79.3
2LATAM BrasilSouth America78.8
3China West AirAsia77.8
4TUIflyEurope77.6
5TransaviaEurope76.3
6SunExpressEurope74.9
7Thomas Cook*Europe74.7
8Air Europa ExpressEurope73.4
9CondorEurope71.8
10Juneyao AirlinesAsia70.9
11Jet2Europe70.8
12Air EuropaEurope70.7
13Air New ZealandAustralia70.5
14Vietnam AirlinesAsia70.4
15Beijing Capital AirlinesAsia69.8
16S7 AirlinesAsia69.2
17KLMEurope68.9
18Virgin AustraliaAustralia68.5
19Air New Zealand LinkAustralia68.3
20Air CaraibesNorth America68.2
21AviancaSouth America67.9
22Alaska AirlinesNorth America67.4
23Shandong AirlinesAsia67.4
24Sichuan AirlinesAsia67.4
25Thai AirwaysAsia67.4
26Air TransatNorth America67.1
27UTairAsia66.9
28Air India ExpressAsia66.8
29Hong Kong AirlinesAsia66.2
30Shenzhen AirlinesAsia66.1

* Thomas Cook ceased operations in 2019

Which Airlines Are At The End Of The Eco Friendly List?

Of course, it is always interesting to see who’s at the bottom of a list. So here are the 5 worst airlines in terms of eco friendliness!

RankAirlineCountryEco Points
121Delta ConnectionUSA28.5
122EnvoyUSA28.2
123Kenya AirwaysKenya27.6
124Egyptair ExpressEgypt25.4
125South African AirlinkSouth Africa2.3

And if you want to check out all the details, here’s the link to the entire list from atmosfair.

Want To Know More About Airlines And Sustainability? Here’s Where To Start!

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Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.