When listening to the radio in the UK, a Ryanair advert came on saying it was one of the cheapest and low emission airlines.

I agree with the cheapest part but doubt the low emission part. Ryanair has published a statement here. But there has also been news reports saying its one of the high emission airlines here.

What is the truth to this?

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    It's like arguing over which monster truck brand is best for the environment. – JonathanReez Sep 26 '19 at 7:17
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    "one of the cheapest and low emission airlines" would be a perfect scenario which I don't think Ryanair is anything but perfect. – CaldeiraG Sep 26 '19 at 7:23
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    Actually it might not be that far off, depending how you look at it. Their fleet is quite recent, compared to legacy airline companies. New airplanes are a lot more efficient. From a ratio fuel/passenger perspective that's also probably true, since their airplanes are mostly full. The only aspect where it might fail is the fact that they induce a lot of travel that wouldn't be made otherwise. – nsn Sep 26 '19 at 7:43
  • They flights are often full.. meaning less co2 pp... I suppose – life-on-mars Sep 26 '19 at 13:36
  • I voted to close as primarily opinion-based. – DavidSupportsMonica Sep 30 '19 at 23:22

They have modern planes, low overhead and high utilization, which should make them low-emission per pax.

On the other hand, it is a well-known paradox when you become more efficient at consuming some resource when fulfilling a need, which increases demand superlinearly so total use of that resource becomes higher. If low costers did not exist, there would probably be half as many flights, which would be less fuel efficient but will still emit less.

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