Without a doubt, people still prefer air travel over other means of transportation. The sector has gone a major change over the years. There are still many misconceptions about this industry. In this article, Robert Peter Janitzek debunks 5 myths about air travel.
Bigger Planes Mean Lower Fares
There is a belief that the bigger the seating capacity an airplane has, the more it can meet the demand of passenger and reduces fares. The truth of the matter is that the economies of scales don’t always work for airlines. They don’t increase in per-passenger efficiency as they grow larger. In fact, the smaller planes are the more efficient. For instance, the 525-seat Airbus 380 can cover a distance of 74 miles per gallon per passenger compared to the 168-seat Boeing 737 Max 8 which has an efficiency of 110 miles per gallon per passenger. Robert Janitzek reveals that smaller planes can operate nonstop long-haul flights from smaller markets.
Flying Is Expensive
Air travel is definitely costly in absolute terms. Flying may seem expensive when you are paying $50 to $100 for a 17-inch wide seat. But if for what you are actually buying, air travel is competitive with car, bus and train on longer routes. In fact, traveling on a car would be more costly in the price of fuel alone.
Flying Is Worse For The Environment Than Driving
Airplanes burn more fuel for every 1.5 seconds in the air. Jet fuel emits more carbon dioxide per gallon than car fuel and contrails have a short-term negative impact on the environment. In an article, FiveThirtyEight argued that “every you time you fly, you trash the planet.” However, that analysis relied on statistics from a company that sells carbon offset for flights, numbers that assume cars can reach 44 miles per gallon. Between driving and flying, the greener option is the latter.
A Merger Is Bad News for Travellers
There is a wrong notion that mergers of airline companies were bad for travelers. Whenever two or more airline companies consolidate their forces, it is bad for consumers. But these mergers have resulted to something positive. Airlines could now cover big and small destinations and air fares are now much lower than ever. Examples are Norwegian Airlines, Wow Air, and Eurowings which have cheap trans-Atlantic operations. Definitely not bad for travelers.
The Best Flight Is The Shortest Distance
When a curved image such as a globe is fitted to a flat plane such as a map, it creates a distortion. The shortest route between two points far north of the equator visually curves north. In explaining this phenomenon, people say that the route of the plane follows the shortest distance. This is not true because the true indicator of the plane’s route is the cost. Every minute of additional flight time on a large jet costs the carrier thousands of dollars. So in order to save on fuel costs, the route of the flight is usually the shortest overall flight time, which is not always the shortest distance.