Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flying slower cuts costs & emissions

Airfare could be going up drastically in the near future. And the only low cost airline operating out of Hong Kong just went bust! So anything that cuts operational costs (hoping these will be passed on to pax) will be welcome to those of us who have to travel. Knowing that carbon emissions are also reduced because less fuel is used is a huge bonus!

Scandinavian airline SAS is flying slower to save on sky-rocketing fuel costs and curb emissions of carbon dioxide in a new push to green up its image. SAS said on Tuesday it has reduced the cruising speed of its passenger jets to about 780 kilometers (485 miles) per hour from 860 kph. The test project, run by SAS's Norwegian unit, has saved it an estimated $12 million in fuel since early 2006.

A 360 km flight between Oslo and Bergen, Norway's two largest cities, at "economy speed" saved 130 kg (287 pounds) of fuel and 420 kg of carbon emissions. The entire journey lasts only three minutes longer. A slightly longer flight between Oslo and Paris or London takes about 10 minutes longer than before.

Last month SAS said it planned to cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 by improving energy efficiency and mixing jet fuel with renewable sources. The goal assumes 4 percent per year growth in passenger numbers for SAS during 2007-2020. To save more fuel, SAS taxies its planes to gates on one engine, turning off the other engines after landing, Midteide said. The same tactic is planned for taxing before take-off. (Reuters)

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