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According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation, for every 1 kilogramme of jet fuel burnt in the operational phase of the flight, approximately 3.15 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

The total volume of fuel consumed on a flight depends on factors such as the distance travelled, wind speeds, the loading of passengers, baggage, and cargo on the aircraft. For our calculation methods we use historic fuel consumption data that allows for the calculation of carbon dioxide emissions. This figure is divided by the number of passengers on the aircraft, based on a historical average for our passenger aircraft fleet, and the distance flown, allowing an amount of carbon dioxide per passenger kilometre to be calculated.

Emissions from the upstream phase include activities undertaken to supplying the jet fuel to our aircraft and may involve extracting fuel, refining, and distributing from the refinery to our aircraft. The FLY greener calculator only includes emissions from the operational phase of the flight. To estimate your share of emissions from upstream activities proportional to the amount of jet fuel burnt, please multiply the emissions number calculated by the FLY greener calculator by 0.222.

Source: Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission

As part of the calculation method, we discount the emissions associated with any additional cargo which may be carried on a passenger flight. Thus, the fuel use of the cargo is removed when calculating the emissions attributable to the passengers.

Inflight facilities provided for Premium Economy, Business and First Class passengers differ from those on offer to Economy Class passengers in terms of weight and space. The relative contribution to the aircraft's emissions of a passenger travelling in Premium Economy, Business or First Class is greater than that of a passenger travelling in Economy Class so it is therefore considered appropriate to factor this into the calculation.

Fuel consumption per passenger per kilometre is calculated according to the operating data of all aircraft in the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleets. Taking aircraft types on individual flights into account would significantly complicate the calculation. Also, for operational reasons we may not use the originally assigned aircraft on particular routes.

Yes. We use actual operating data when calculating emissions, so variations caused by the wind effect on flight time - and the resulting impact on fuel consumption - are taken into account.

Our calculator enables you to input your information for multiple sectors in order to get the correct emission calculation. For example, if you travel from Sydney to Hong Kong and then connect to a flight to Beijing, you can input your data for these two sectors into the calculator. If you input this journey as a single sector, Sydney to Beijing, the calculator will automatically assume that your flights will be routed through our Hong Kong hub.

You can calculate the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon sectors using our calculator. Our system does not allow sectors which are not flown by Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon to be included in the calculation. Should you wish to offset the emissions from your travel on other airlines using our site you may do so by choosing the one-off contribution option.

No, there is currently no such standard. Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have worked hard to ensure that the emissions assigned to a passenger are as fair and accurate as possible. The calculation methods will be frequently reviewed, particularly if industry standards become available.

It is not easy to compare these calculations directly. Different airlines have different ways of calculating emissions. Details such as aircraft type, passenger configuration and cargo load allocations as well as inflight facilities and route structures can vary widely. As mentioned above, we have worked hard to develop an emissions calculator that we feel most accurately and fairly reflects the emissions associated with our fleet and our passengers.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation, has indicated that aviation currently contributes 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. There is significant research and investigation on the impacts of other emissions and the release of emissions at high altitude. Given the complexity of chemical reactions in the atmosphere, there remains significant uncertainty around these issues.

To assist in increasing understanding of climate change science in the atmosphere, Cathay Pacific is supporting the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) Project, which is part of the European Commission’s European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. In 2013, one of our Airbus A330-300 aircraft has been equipped with scientific instruments designed for the monitoring of climate change contributors such as aerosol, cloud articles and atmospheric composition. The results will form part of a database for science and policy users, including the provision of real time data for weather prediction, air quality forecasting and climate models. More information can be found on their website: www.iagos.org.

Condensation trails (contrails) are the white trails that sometimes form when an aircraft is cruising in cold, humid atmospheres and are believed to be linked to the formation of cirrus clouds - which is thought to be a contributing factor to climate change. Despite significant research in this area, scientists remain uncertain as to the specific contribution of contrails to adverse climate change.

To assist in increasing understanding of climate change science in the atmosphere, Cathay Pacific is supporting the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) Project, which is part of the European Commission’s European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. In 2013, one of our Airbus A330-300 aircraft has been equipped with scientific instruments designed for the monitoring of climate change contributors such as aerosol, cloud articles and atmospheric composition. The results will form part of a database for science and policy users, including the provision of real time data for weather prediction, air quality forecasting and climate models. More information can be found on their website: www.iagos.org.

Carbon offsetting is an effective means of funding carbon reduction on the ground to compensate for emissions associated with your flight. By paying to offset emissions in our FLY greener carbon offset programme, you are contributing to the purchase of carbon credits generated by projects that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. These carbon credits are then effectively "retired" to ensure that they cannot be sold or used again.

Carbon credits for the purpose of the FLY greener carbon offset programme are verified emissions reductions (VERs) generated from emissions abatement projects verified in accordance with the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) or an equivalent or higher global standard. The VCS developed by The Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development is aimed at ensuring the integrity of the voluntary offsetting market.

Carbon offsetting is only one way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While offsetting doesn't reduce emissions from flying itself, it avoids or reduces the emission of greenhouse gases elsewhere. Offsetting also encourages innovation, raises awareness of the need for better carbon management and in some cases can also contribute to the reduction of local air pollution.

Carbon offsetting is only one way of reducing our carbon footprint. We are committed to working with our partners in managing our carbon emissions. We have been actively contributing to global efforts in reducing aviation’s overall impacts, through new technologies, better operating procedures and improved infrastructure.

Our operating culture of fuel efficiency has been embedded since our first non-stop long haul flights from Hong Kong to London in 1980 and Hong Kong to Vancouver in 1983. Reducing weight onboard these two routes enabled us to offer a unique and competitive service to our customers. Various teams within Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon worked on implementing innovative initiatives such as a fuel monitoring system; use of core washing; introduction of lighter weight onboard equipment (for example, food carts and cargo container boxes); and utilising flight techniques and flight planning systems that reduce fuel use – which have been part of the airline’s standard operating procedures for the past 30 years.

Information on Cathay Pacific's various efforts to improve our fuel efficiency and manage our carbon footprint can be found in our Sustainable Development Reports.