Sunday, March 23, 2008

Soaring Fuel Prices; Grounded Planes

Looks like environmentalists and airline executives have something in common: they’re both reducing what’s in the air.

While those working to reduce air pollution may be motivated by a number of things including climate change, health, and the economy, airlines are essentially responding to soaring fuel prices. USA Today reported that a number of American airlines are cutting the size of their fleets. Rising oil and ticket prices, along with increased concern over the environmental impacts of planes, have left the industry in a tough spot. (See last month’s ire-inducing “eco-scandal” where a Boeing 777-- typically able to carry anywhere between 283 and 368 passengers—flew from Chicago to London with only five.) The airline companies referenced in the article are selling and dumping some of their older, less efficient models; but depending on who they’re selling to and where they’re dumping, they may just be shifting, and not really reducing, the cost and environmental impact.

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