Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Airlines in Latin America and the Caribbean achieve 2.7% annual fuel efficiency

Airlines in Latin America and the Caribbean achieve 2.7% annual fuel efficiency

To mark Earth Day, the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) recognised the work of Latin American and Caribbean airlines to make steady progress in their sustainability goals. ALTA especially distinguishes the efforts that have resulted in an annual fuel efficiency of 2.7% since 2011, thus managing to avoid the emission of 20.33 million tons of CO2 in this period.

Airlines went from fuel consumption per thousand passenger kilometers (gallons/1,000 RPKs) of 12.61 gallons in 2011 to 9.1 gallons in 2023. This is equivalent to:

  • Take 4.6 million cars off the road for 1 year;
  • Or 933 million trees planted;
  • Or the CO2 that could sequester 150 km² of mangroves in a year;
  • Or the amount of CO2 that could be absorbed by an area of approximately 2,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest in a year;
  • Or neutralize the annual emissions of approximately 10 million Latin Americans. The equivalent, for example, of Mexico City stopping CO2 emissions for 1 year.

“The airline industry’s commitment to the environment is long-standing and has shown strong results. Only the fuel efficiency achieved can translate into the equivalent of 20 years of operation of one of the largest solar plants in the region, which manages to avoid the emission of 1 million tons of CO2 per year. The efficiencies achieved by the industry translate directly into better conditions for users, for communities and for the environment. So, why not contribute to making the conditions, the context, in which the industry operates more efficient so that it can grow with agility and competitiveness?” says José Ricardo Botelho, executive director & CEO of ALTA.

Botelho highlights that, in addition to the reduction in emissions achieved through operational and technological efficiencies, airlines in the region have adopted processes to offset their emissions, in some cases up to 90% of emissions from domestic routes.

“Latin America has one of the most modern fleets in the world, that is, the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft. We fly efficiently and the footprint is really low compared to other regions. Ways to advance sustainability goals cannot be the same for everyone, especially since in this region the income level is lower and the impact of compensation and procurement costs of SAF or other initiatives is greater. We must be extremely careful to recognize the various realities that exist so as not to cause irreparable losses in an essential sector,” he says.

“Aviation is no longer a luxury, as it was a few years ago, but an essential service accessed by more than 300 million people per year. We must keep this in mind and work together to advance responsibly and efficiently in our sustainability goals,” he says.

In this sense, ALTA participates in the SAF Working Groups in Colombia and Mexico and soon in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. In response to this work, the association has two working committees specialized in the subject, which have new presidents:

Sustainability Committee: Marco Larson, Head of Sustainability at Sky Airline.

Fuels Committee: David Ortiz, Fuels Manager at Aeromexico.

Both committees bring together more than 15 airlines that seek to generate knowledge, best practices and initiatives that support the industry to advance with agility in sustainability goals.

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Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on


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