How Many MPG does an Airplane Get?

For FY2008, On a per available seat basis, the major airlines and Amtrak got the following fuel economy:

Company MPG Per Available Seat
Amtrak 138.46 MPG
Airtran Airways 64.87 MPG
American Airlines 60.64 MPG
Continental Airlines 68.41 MPG
Delta Airlines 60.42 MPG
Jetblue Airways 71.46 MPG
Southwest Airlines 67.78 MPG
United Airlines 62.32 MPG
USAirways 64.96 MPG

Of course that’s on a available seat basis, on a per revenue seat basis (MPG of seats with paying customers in them):

Company Passenger Load Factor (% Of Seats Filled) MPG Per Occupied Seat
Amtrak 52.3% 72.42 MPG
Airtran Airways 79.6% 51.64 MPG
American Airlines 80.6% 48.88 MPG
Continental Airlines 83.3% 56.99 MPG
Delta Airlines 81.4% 49.18 MPG
Jetblue Airways 80.4% 57.46 MPG
Southwest Airlines 71.2% 48.26 MPG
United Airlines 81.0% 50.48 MPG
USAirways 81.7% 53.07 MPG

Google Spreadsheet Noting Raw Data

Southwest does seem to be the odd man out due to the lower passenger load factor.  Of course, this could well be balanced out due to the fact that Southwest follows a point to point approach where they trade lower passenger load factors for a trip with less miles flown.

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