« on: 20/10/2019 15:14:57 »
Shifting stuff consumes fuel. A 747 drinks about 8 gallons/mile when carrying 400 passengers and their baggage, i.e 50 passenger-miles per gallon. That's about the average for petrol cars, which rarely carry more than two occupants, whereas airliners are usually 80 - 90% loaded. Modern airliners are more efficient- remember the 747 is 50 years old! - although interestingly the Airbus 380 isn't: its attraction is in the reduced administrative overheads of shifting more passengers (up to 850) in a single airway and ground handling slot.
So we should only move stuff by air if that stuff NEEDS to be moved, ie to disaster areas, war zones, medical supplies etc.
But my point is that stating fuel consumption in terms of passenger miles per gal/litr only shifts focus from the large amounts of fuel used per flight. It is I think an accountancy measure rather than a scientific measure. And the equivalent amount of fuel would never be used for travel if air travel weren't so cheaply available. The numbers of people travelling thousands of miles in cars would never remotely approach the numbers of airline passengers.