US airlines will need to sharply increase fleet renewal to meet 2020 carbon-neutral growth goal

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is urging US airlines to make improvements by acquisition of new aircraft and engine technology to meet its 2020 carbon-neutral growth goal to

US airlines will need to sharply increase fleet renewal to meet 2020 carbon-neutral growth goal

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is urging US airlines to make improvements by acquisition of new aircraft and engine technology to meet its 2020 carbon-neutral growth goal to increase sharply from their present rate.

In order for the US commercial aviation sector to meet its 2020 carbon-neutral growth goal, airline efficiency improvements via the acquisition of new aircraft and engine technology will need to increase sharply from their present rate, according to a brief analysis posted by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

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The quick analysis comes on the heels of ICCT’s recently released 2013 US airline fuel efficiency ranking that found no net gain in the fuel efficiency of US domestic airlines operations from 2012 to 2013. (Earlier post.) That report, an annual update to an earlier report, also investigated changes in fuel efficiency since 2010, both for individual airlines and the industry as a whole.

In this most recent post, ICCT projected the average fleet age through 2020 using the 2013 fleet as a baseline; aircraft deliveries by airline from the Ascend Fleets database; standard aircraft retirement curves; and activity projections based upon the recent past. It also estimated a simple fleet turnover rate—i.e., the number of years it will take each airline to replace its current fleet (in 2013) with entirely with new aircraft.

ICCT determined that, compared to the average fleet age of 13 years in 2013, the projected fleet age in 2020 will be 11 years.

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