Go Back  Airline Pilot Central Forums > Airline Pilot Forums > Major
Airlines slow down flights to save on fuel >

Airlines slow down flights to save on fuel

Notices
Major Legacy, National, and LCC

Airlines slow down flights to save on fuel

Old 05-01-2008, 02:25 PM
  #11  
Recommend Retention
 
LifeNtheFstLne's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jun 2007
Position: Bigfoot
Posts: 1,063
Default

You have neglected the most important thing that must be taken into consideration, and that is the departure time of my commuting flight home relative to my planned arrival time. I have not missed one yet. I would love to see the data on flight times at the end of a pairing. I've got dollars saying they're the best flight times on record.
LifeNtheFstLne is online now  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:02 PM
  #12  
Gets Weekends Off
 
shiftwork's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Mar 2006
Position: in front of a computer screen
Posts: 712
Default

Originally Posted by LifeNtheFstLne View Post
You have neglected the most important thing that must be taken into consideration, and that is the departure time of my commuting flight home relative to my planned arrival time. I have not missed one yet. I would love to see the data on flight times at the end of a pairing. I've got dollars saying they're the best flight times on record.
Amen....

Green Dot anyone?
shiftwork is offline  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:04 PM
  #13  
Administrator
Thread Starter
 
vagabond's Avatar
 
Joined APC: May 2006
Position: C-172
Posts: 7,844
Default

This is a companion/complementary article about the increasing use of propeller planes because of fuel costs. I don't know about anybody else, but I've always been grateful for the propeller in my little C-172.

From BusinessWeek:

Queue up at Newark, N.J., for the 8:10 a.m. Continental Express flight to Baltimore, and you may be startled to find what many people consider a throwback to the 1970s: A plane driven by propellers, not jet engines. Get ready for more of them. The soaring cost of fuel is rapidly reshaping the landscape for regional flights at many airlines, leading to interest in a new generation of turboprop planes.

Most of the props are being deployed on trips of less than 500 miles. Beyond that, the economic advantages of a small jet kick in. For example, turboprops are now used heavily on routes such as Newark to Toronto; Seattle to Portland, Ore.; and San Jose, Calif., to Boise, Idaho. The two main beneficiaries of this trend are Montreal's Bombardier and the French-Italian aerospace joint venture ATR.

Alaska Air Group's regional subsidiary, Horizon Air, announced on Apr. 24 that it would convert its entire fleet to Bombardier's 76-seat Q400 prop within two years. "Through its combination of passenger comfort, speed, and efficiency, the Q400 is the best aircraft for the majority of our markets," Horizon Air President and Chief Executive Jeff Pinneo said in a prepared statement.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24390211/
vagabond is offline  
Old 05-01-2008, 04:33 PM
  #14  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Giggity's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2007
Posts: 107
Default

Originally Posted by vagabond View Post
Is it true that you guys are slowing down or asked to slow down? The media has a poor reputation with me so why not ask the the people who actually do the work.

It would seem a moot point if the flight happens to encounter strong headwinds. Anyway, I don't mind a slightly longer flight if it can help. I already slow down when driving; I'm the one driving like grandma on I-5.
Ha!! Me too!! I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Giggity is offline  
Old 05-01-2008, 08:52 PM
  #15  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Mar 2008
Position: Airbus F/O
Posts: 329
Default

Originally Posted by LifeNtheFstLne View Post
You have neglected the most important thing that must be taken into consideration, and that is the departure time of my commuting flight home relative to my planned arrival time. I have not missed one yet. I would love to see the data on flight times at the end of a pairing. I've got dollars saying they're the best flight times on record.
I'll second that statement, it's amazing that we can shot a visual approach at 250 kts till 5-7 miles from the airport on go home leg. Gotta love the props
phoenix 23684 is offline  
Old 05-02-2008, 05:12 PM
  #16  
Gets Weekends Off
 
FliFast's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Dec 2006
Position: I was acquired, Not Hired
Posts: 1,781
Default

I'm curious how much savings is made by slowing down versus the variable cost (and some fixed) of higher time on the airframe which speeds up it's useful life and frequency of maint. checks and the cost of the increased payroll by flying longer block times.


In the International spectrum, this could be significant if you have a flight that is blocked for 7 hr 59 mins which can be flown by a two-man crew. By slowing down whether specifically from company guidance or by personal choice, the segment that is just under 8 hrs is now over 8 hrs more than 50% of the time in a 90 day snapshot thus requiring the company to change the block time to reveal it is an over-8 hr flight requiring the use of a third pilot (Relief Officer).

Next, hub and spoke schedules are a delicate balancing act. When block times need to be lengthened, this upsets the apple cart and could possibly (not definately, in the case of rolling hub scheduling) create a situation where planes now spend more time on the ground waiting for other planes to arrive with their connecting passengers.

Finally, and maybe this is an intangible cost for running over block time, but what is the cost of lost revenue from a business person that is 15-20 mins late for a meeting, misses their connection, etc. We all know many people schedule air travel in their plans with the same margin for error as a trapeze artist.i.e arrive at ORD at 1230pm, meeting downtown at 130pm.


I honestly don't know which is the better solution. Just curious if others might have some thoughts...thanks

FF
FliFast is offline  
Old 05-02-2008, 05:50 PM
  #17  
Gets Weekends Off
 
TBoneF15's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Apr 2007
Posts: 119
Default

The reality is that the slower cost index they've been throwing at us lately does not add a whole ton on to the duration of the flight. Last night on my redeye from SFO to JFK, we messed around with a bunch of different numbers and the slower ones added just a few minutes onto the ETE, and that was going all the way across the country. We were already using pretty slow numbers to begin with so it's not a massive change. It's not going to cause us to show up 20 minutes late or anything.

However, when you add up very small fuel savings times all the flights we do in a year, and it does add up over time. Just like the APU campaign going on. Few gallons here, few gallons there but multiply that by a large scale operation over time and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
TBoneF15 is offline  
Old 05-02-2008, 10:02 PM
  #18  
Gets Weekends Off
 
stanherman's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Apr 2008
Position: Hack pilot
Posts: 191
Default

In the long term run it sounds like a good deal. Slow down the TAS to get better fuel economy,but even that can't REALLY dent the fuel problem. With all this technology we have today you would think that by this day and age they would of realized the fuel problem and started creating alternative fuel options. Maybe they'll just wait till fuel becomes 6$ a gallon to start to consider other options. Who knows
stanherman is offline  
Old 05-02-2008, 10:27 PM
  #19  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Boomer's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2008
Position: blueJet
Posts: 4,159
Default

Originally Posted by DAL4EVER View Post
Flying at Mach .62 makes sense only if you are at FL180. In the upper 20s and 30s however, every mainline plane getting behind you is way on the back side of the power curve. If the RJ burns 200 PPH per engine more at high speed but the Boeings are able to cruise more efficiently than that's what the flight planners should look at.
Delta puts the gas in Comair's tanks and Delta keeps the savings. Why would Delta insist that Comair bebop along at .62 if it's messing up mainline's operations? Comair doesn't always know who's 80 miles in trail and gaining fast.

Boomer
Boomer is offline  
Old 05-03-2008, 06:51 AM
  #20  
Gets Weekends Off
 
tomgoodman's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2006
Position: 767A (Ret)
Posts: 6,013
Default Problem with flying slower

It doesn't work very well unless everyone else slows up too. DAL tried slowing up the MD-88s once, and we invariably wound up at the tail end of a large number of arrivals. After a long final approach, we had burned even more fuel than usual. Of course, somebody else probably saved fuel by getting in ahead of us, but I don't think that was the plan.
tomgoodman is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
HuronIP
Major
9
01-08-2008 04:57 PM
A300jetflyer
Cargo
9
11-09-2007 10:22 AM
captain_drew
Major
0
04-16-2005 08:05 PM
captain_drew
Major
0
04-14-2005 02:52 PM
SWAjet
Major
0
02-26-2005 11:49 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread