Brussels Airlines: a big polluter among airlines

Atmosfair, a German NGO involved in climate protection, has released a report which points out the most pollutant airlines.

All airlines are definitely significant polluters. There is no point in denying such a sentence. Planes generate massive CO2 emissions, and the millions of flights all year long are a cause of pollution.

Some airlines are however “less bad” than others. That’s what Atmosfair, an eco-friendly NGO, has reported on 8 December while political leaders were taking part in the COP24 meeting in Katowice.

Worldwide, 1 in 10 airlines manages to keep its CO2 emissions about constant despite economic growth,” the Atmosfair Airline Index (AAI) points out. Concretely, it means that “by increasing CO2 efficiency those airlines nearly offset their growth in flown mileage”.

Although it is not a perfect solution to lower the CO2 emission levels, it is still a good step towards reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement. Some of those airlines are clearly identified: Thai Airways, Finnair, American Airlines and All Nippon Airlines.

The report also shows that new aircraft types, such as Boeing 787-9, Airbus A350-900 or the A320neo are able to achieve reasonable levels of fuel consumption.

When it comes to the most carbon efficient airlines in the World, TUI Airways reaches the top rank. Then you can find LATAM Airlines Brasil, China West Air and TUIFly. 14 European airlines are part of the top50, as well as 10 Chinese airlines.



Belgium is however quite far away. Brussels Airlines appears at the 84th rank (out of 125 Worldwide airlines). And there’s nothing to be proud of.

Atmosfair has identified six efficiency classes, from A to G. No airline has achieved to get an ‘A’ class, and Brussels Airlines only got an ‘E’ class. To have an overall idea, only 7 European airlines got worse results than the one Brussels Airlines got.

The AAI is based on the carbon emissions of a given airline per kilometre and passenger on all routes flown. Many issues are taken into account, such as the aircraft type, the engines, the use of winglets, etc.