becomes the first travel agent to offer a carbon comparison flight search

1st Dec 2009 becomes the first travel agent to offer a carbon comparison flight search, the world’s leading travel agent for responsible holidays, has announced today that it will offer travellers a flight search which compares not only prices, but carbon emissions of different airlines for requested routes.

Following on from’s carbon reduction campaign (and decision to remove carbon offsetting) launched last month it is a move that adds a tangible dimension to the “when you fly make it count” advice set out on the carbon caution page of the site:

Justin Francis, MD, said: “We were the first travel agency to enable tourists to make an informed choice about the holidays they book - based on how they address the social, economic and environmental impacts.

“It is exciting to be at the next stage and be the first to offer informed choices, based on carbon emissions, when booking flights.

Ultimately we all need to take responsibility for reducing our carbon emissions. While flying less is a priority the reality is that tourists continue to want to visit destinations that require a flight. By offering a comparative lower carbon flight search, based on the carbon efficiency of different airlines, we are able to offer a practical guide to relative carbon travel.”


Francis adds, “And if consumer demand starts to reward efficient airlines our expectation is that more airlines will disclose exact fuel consumption and work much harder towards being less polluting.”

Created in partnership with Global Travel Market and The Carbon Consultancy The new flight search -, is just a click away, with donating 50% of income from the flight search to TravelPledge, who have committed to funding a project supporting local communities adapting to the impacts of global warming.

How does it work and what can it tell you:

#  In the same way as any flight search except that it takes in to consideration both the price and efficiency of a selection of airlines on your chosen route.
#  It offers a choice of provider based upon the efficiency of the equipment (aircraft fleet) used for long and short-haul flights.
#  Behind the scenes the flight search uses the published long haul fleets of individual airlines, EU aircraft fuel consumption data and emissions conversions.
#  Each airline fleet assessment is based upon published manufacturers 2 class seating configuration for long haul and 1 class seating for short haul, to provide an optimised emissions estimate per available seat/per plane value. All the relevant aircraft in an airline fleet and their seat values are multiplied to create a fleet value, with a separate analysis for short haul and long haul fleets.
#  The flight selection is assessed for distance to determine short haul and long haul fleet selection. The total short/long haul fleet values are then rated to provide an indication of the most carbon friendly airline choices. This means that the carbon rating of the airline links to both the statistical probability of the plane types you will travel on when flying and aircraft performance.

What it can’t tell you and other considerations:

#  Which actual plane you will fly on or how full it will actually be, so the best suggested choice given is fleet based.
#  If you have a choice when you book, always fly direct, the impact of an indirect flight choice can have a carbon impact up to 29% that of a direct one, more if you stop at more than one city en route. This means that any direct flight suggestion it gives will be normally be outweighed by the selection of an indirect flight.
#  Economy flight is less carbon intensive than business or first class and the fewer seats that your chosen airline put on an aircraft may increase comfort, but increase the likely impact from your journey, making a long haul two class plane more efficient per passenger than a four class plane of the same type.

Alongside the new flight search and carbon reduction advice page, aims to help responsible travellers by offering:

#  Over 200 UK based holidays. The UK is now the best selling destination on the website as many of its UK-based customers chose to holiday closer to home.

#  The functionality to book Europe and worldwide train tickets or UK train tickets to reach their holiday destination.
#  A special section dedicated to holidays whose organisers have gone that extra mile in helping travellers choose more environmentally friendly methods of transport. See lower carbon travel holidays.

For further information and advice see:


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