Since World War I, the commercial aviation industry has seen many improvements that now allow people and goods to reach the other side of the world in a few hours, consuming much less fuel than in recent decades. Improvements in cargo capacity and energy efficiency were significant, and in this scenario, commercial airlines were able to thrive and bring great benefits to the world economy. However, this sector is facing environmental challenges due to the intensive use of jet fuel. Brazil is one of the largest domestic air passenger markets in the world and still has great growth potential, considering its economic potential and territorial dimensions, which are roughly the same size as the US and twice the size of the European Union. This paper discusses the partial productivity of jet fuel in Brazilian domestic aviation and proposes an econometric method to support public regulators and airline decisions. The proposed model uses variables, such as aircraft size, route characteristics, and idle flight capacity, in a panel data analysis. The results show that reducing idle capacity is one of the best ways to achieve better short-term fuel efficiency, and therefore will reduce the environmental impacts and have positive economic effects on commercial air transport activities. This paper brings a new approach to the discussion of airline performance, focusing on the use of jet fuel, with economic and environmental consequences.
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