Economic-environmental trade-offs in long-term airline fleet planning. J Air Transp Manag

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Air Transportation Systems, Blohmstrasse 18, 21079 Hamburg, Germany
Journal of Air Transport Management (Impact Factor: 0.91). 01/2014; 34:109–115. DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2013.08.004


We examine the balancing of economic and environmental goals in long-term airline fleet planning. A multi-objective linear programming model optimizes fleet composition, fleet development, and fleet employment for a 10-year planning horizon. Model inputs include flight plan data, operational, technical, and cost parameters, existing fleet aircraft, and the availability of new, more efficient aircraft. The model determines trade-offs between an economically and an environmentally optimal fleet plan depending on user-defined weightings. Varying these weightings provides alternative Pareto-optimal fleet plans. An example for a major European airline shows that it would have to deviate by approximately 3% from its economic optimum to achieve a 6% improvement in the environmental goal. The study provides insights for policy makers when setting environmental targets for airlines and developing mechanisms to encourage environmental commitment.

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    • "However, it has to be taken in mind that a trade-off exists between the reduction of NO x and CO 2 emissions (Daley, 2010 and Szodruch et al., 2011). Most aircraft engines available today can technologically be optimized either to minimize fuel burn, and thus CO 2 emissions, or to minimize NO x emissions (Rosskopf et al., 2014). At the level of the European Union (EU), the European Commission has been analysing since 2008, whether NO x charges can be an appropriate instrument to reduce the non-CO 2 climate impact of international aviation (Scheelhaase, 2010). "
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