Transport costs nothing

The topic of global warming is currently being discussed very intensively everywhere, but for me it is a rather hypocritical discussion. There is no doubt that the increase in temperature is related to the increase in global CO2 emissions. Numbers do not lie. There are very well-founded data collections and it is interesting to see the cause of these emissions.


For me, one of the main reasons for global warming is the following:
Too low transport costs.

I would like to make the following statement:

“Transport costs nothing, but the price we pay for it is too high.”

As a result of the low transport costs, goods are shipped around the globe and often sent back and forth between countries for further processing. From an environmental perspective, that does not make sense! Now in the travel sector, airlines attract customers with dumping prices. I am also a person who likes to go on vacation by plane and from that point of view, I am just as guilty. But in general, I think that flying has become way too cheap. We should travel more consciously. To increase this awareness, the transport costs must be massively increased.

Today, I received the following offer:

Screenshot 2019-09-05 at 18.06.47
Lufthansa offer for a roundtrip Zurich – New York


This offer has aroused my curiosity. Are there any cheaper airline tickets available? And in fact I found something:

Screenshot 2019-09-05 at 19.24.39
Swiss offer for a round trip Zurich – New York


Come on guys! For CHF 387 to New York and back? At the actual rate (September 5, 2019), we are talking about USD 393 or EUR 357. How is that even possible? No f***ing way!!!

The flight distance from Zurich to New York is 6’311 km or 3’921 miles. For the round trip, that would be the double distance then, so 12’622 km or 7’842 miles. The cost per kilometer is therefore only CHF 0.03 (same in USD or EUR 0.027). Or in miles, that would be CHF 0.049 (same in USD or EUR 0.045). These ultra low prices are simply not compatible with a clear conscience. Stinginess is not really cool. (Geiz ist nicht wirklich geil).

But what are the real costs for such a trip? How can the airline still make some money? I tried to do a simple calculation based on information available on the web. According to the actual Sustainability Report of the Lufthansa group, the average fuel consumption for a Swiss long distance flight in liters per 100 passenger kilometers (l/100 pkm) is 2.88.

Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 11.04.15
Lufthansa Group: Sustainability Report 2018


Which means that for our planned round trip of 12’622km, the total fuel consumption per passenger will be around 364l (96 gal). I think that is a pretty low estimate, if we compare it with the estimated fuel consumption per flight hour of 5.46 tons, for an Airbus model A330-300 (used by Swiss for this destination). Just consider the total flight time of roughly 16 hours and you are getting a total fuel consumption of about 87 tons, which translates to 29’000 gallons. The Swiss A330 provides space for 236 passengers and that’s why the average fuel consumption is at 123 gallons (465 l) in this type of calculation. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. So let’s assume the consumption per passenger is 110 gallons (416 l). So what are now direct fuel costs per passenger? I looked up the current prices for kerosene here:

Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 11.16.16
IATA Fuel Price Analysis


So we are talking of USD 1.82 per gallone, which results in USD 200 (CHF 198) per person in fuel costs alone! According to the IATA “Airline Industry Economic Performance Report” of June 2019, fuel costs currently represent 25% of average operating costs:

Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 10.57.56
IATA Airline Industry Economic Performance Report, June 2019


That leads me to the conclusion that a plane ticket must cost 4 (four) times the price of fuel. In our example (Round trip Zurich – New York), The minimum price therefore should be USD 800 (CHF 792). If you pay less, than somebody else is taking care of the rest of the bill: Business and First Class passengers.

But stop, not so fast… we have not yet talked about the ecological damage such a short round trip creates:

Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 12.50.11
Emission calculation (


We are talking about almost 2,4 tons of CO2 emissions! It should be mandatory for every flight, that CO2 emissions have to be compensated by a climate tax. In this example, we need to add another EUR 55 (USD 60) to the price of the ticket. I have my doubts, if this is really enough, to compensate the environmental damage of such a flight. But at least, it is a starting point.

Transport needs to become more espensive! We are simply not reasonable enough, if it is too cheap. Guys, if we continue like this, we should not be surprised if we have to say in the end:

Cheap transport cost nothing US EVERYTHING!!!

Just my 5 cents.

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