Friday, July 04, 2008

Non-stop or One-stop?

If you fly from say, Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur, do you prefer a non-stop flight or a stopover at Hong Kong?

If you are a business traveler who goes to China many times a year, you probably prefer a non-stop flight as you can’t wait to meet your loved ones. If, on the other hand, you are a leisure traveler who visits Shanghai for the first time, you may not mind spending an hour or two shopping in Chek Lap Kok Airport.

According to blogger Jam, a non-stop flight is more environmental friendly. In his post, Green Traveler Guide, he writes:

“In the case that flying is inevitable, choose direct flight. Minimize stopovers. This is because carbon emissions are the worst during take off and landing.”

If Jam’s theory is correct, a jet also burns more fuel during take off and landing.

However, Dean Foust and Justin Bachman, journalists of BusinessWeek, believe otherwise. They write:

“With roughly 30% of the weight of any transcontinental flight consisting of the fuel alone, meaning airlines are burning fuel just to carry fuel, carriers can be expected to replace many of those longer non-stops with one-stop flights, intended largely for refueling.”

Now I am confused. Is non-stop flight better than one-stop flight in terms of fuel economy and carbon emission, or vice versa?

If one-stop flight really turns out to be more economical, it will have an impact on the budget airlines such as AirAsia, which traditionally thrive on offering point-to-point flights. With oil price soared past $140 per barrel, will their business model survive


Jam: Green Traveler Guide

BusinessWeek: You Think Flying Is Bad Now…


  1. prefer direct flight, especially on business trip, otherwise waste of time
    in the business word...
    time = money

  2. Khengsiong, interesting point to find out, haha. But talking about survival, MAS is the first one to announce the increase of their fuel surcharge. I bet they suffer more than AirAsia.

  3. 迷迭香
    I thought you like to shop at airport?

    AirAsia probably is cutting maintenance cost...

  4. Do travellers really consider the environment? I should think airfare would be the primary concern, then come route and airline. For long-haul flights, I think a non-stop flight would have a higher fare but then again, the airline used has a bearing too.

  5. prefer direct flight, sufferred several times before at bangkok and s'pore aiport for doing nothing while waiting to be on-board except for the 1st time being at these aiports...

  6. I prefer direct flights, faster. Not too sure on the environmental issues though... :)

  7. happysurfer
    Blogger Jam is a green traveler. But I agree that for most people, airfare is the key.

    You are another lady who don't like to shop at a transit airport. I'm confused (@_@)

    Actually, I also not sure about the environmental issues.

  8. if possible i also prefer non-stop. boring witing at airport and do nothing.

    By the way, How come u will think girls like to shop at transit airport le?? Duty free goods no big diffrent no matter in which airport gua..

  9. I think most travellers don't really bother about the environment. They are more concern regarding their comfort and the time.

    I prefer direct or non stop flight if possible. It's a hassle and a waste of time waiting for transit flight in the airport. So boring woh waiting at the airport.

    And, if i want to shop at the transit airport, i will only buy foodstuff :)

  10. sinji
    Local products will be different.

    You are another person who dislike stop-over. Looks like my presumption was wrong.

  11. Flights with lots of stopovers are sometimes cheaper (for the traveler). Bad thing is you waste a lot of time.

  12. 宝茹
    Yes, you are right. I also have this experience too. Wondering who will choose environment over price.

  13. No way that maintenance cost should be cut! They also dun wan something happens to the craft and passengers which will bring more damage to them.

  14. jam
    Express bus companies in Peninsula also cut maintenance cost. They thought nothing would happen to them...