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Which is the most efficient Freighter today?

We took a look at the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) databases to see if we could determine which of the current aircraft models is the most efficient freighter. We began by looking at the US freight carriers that report to the DOT to examine activity, and then fuel efficiency for their operations.

The chart below shows revenue ton-miles per flight for each carrier by year plotted against average stage length. The size of the circle represents the number of flights operated by each carrier. This clearly shows a distinction between FedEx and UPS, who operate primarily domestic hub and spoke operations, and Kalitta, Atlas, and Polar, who operate longer stage lengths.  This chart is interactive, and pressing the play button at the left of the years column provides a history from 2010 through 2021. The model operated by each carrier can also be selected on an aircraft by aircraft basis by ticking the box for a particular aircraft type.

We took a look at the United States DOT databases to see if we could determine which of the current models is the most efficient freighter.  We began by looking at the US freight carriers that report to the DOT to examine activity, and then fuel efficiency for their operations.


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