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Aviation Know Your MPG: Air Travel

Published on January 29th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Know Your MPG: Air Travel

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January 29th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
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Fuel economy of flights on travel websites? While the idea may seem far-fetched at first, its equivalent on the ground has been around for many years: Governments require it, car manufacturers and dealerships advertise it, and you probably know yours: MPG.

Most travelers generally understand that flying is very energy-intensive, but there is little information as to which factors come into play: Is it the speed of travel? Or aircraft age? Airlines themselves have an economic interest in fuel economy and so it seems surprising that the public knows so little about it.

A young start-up company called Calasi has now built software that can displays fuel economy ratings on travel websites. “Efficient flying comes at no extra cost or burden. We just need to highlight responsible travel options to the user,” explains Dirk Aguilar, Calasi President & Co-Founder. In addition to building awareness per se, the company attempts to actually shift demand towards more fuel efficient routes using a proprietory recommendation engine. Mr. Aguilar says: “Calasi suggests efficient flights that work for our users. Sometimes a more responsible option may actually save you money and time.”

Here’s a video of an early version of the service (the functionality has improved a bit since this video was created):


The founders point out that a single economy passenger from Los Angeles to New York can easily produce as many carbon emissions as two months worth of US per capita home electricity usage. Satish Viswanatham, Calasi CTO & Co-Counder, continues: “Fuel economy can easily vary threefold from one flight to another, so here is a wonderful opportunity to make a large positive impact. Many consumers already demonstrate a responsible lifestyle by riding a bike or driving a hybrid. Applying this thought process to the way they fly is a natural extention of what they are already doing.”

Calasi’s public beta is available on the company’s website and it already works on Expedia.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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