A philosophical senior manager at Snecma used to be fond of saying that if we want alternative jetfuels made from vegetable matter then there is a problem – there isn’t room to grow enough green stuff to make the fuel we need without threatening food production. Being very French, even by French standards, he sums it up thus: “We can have camembert or fuel. It’s a dilemma.” (Since then, algae-derived fuel has begun to look more promising.)Presenting the Airbus Global Market Forecast today, John Leahy made a related point (with different motives). Leahy points out just how much space on an aircraft lie-flat beds take up, let alone private suites. “At one time we didn’t have lie-flat in first class, now we have it in business class,” he notes. Result: we need even bigger aircraft to carry everyone.
Another view of course is that now we need even more aircraft, making more flights, and generally destroying the planet even more. Should first- and business-class pax pay tougher environmental taxes? (Yes they should – but leave a comment…)