by Dino Londis
Despite the plummeting cost, fuel remains an airline’s biggest expense, accounting for nearly 28 percent of an its operational costs in 2014. And as much as an airline tries to absorb the costs, they are eventually passed along to its customers.
If an airline can gain an advantage by reducing the amount of fuel it uses it can potentially lower prices and pass the savings along to its customers. Airlines can also cut its carbon footprint.
How Airlines Reduce Fuel Consumption
There are many ways to reduce the fuel a jet uses. Back in the 1970s when fuel costs were at its highest, airlines were stripping their jest of paint, saving 300 lbs. on every flight. Even today companies are experimenting with new types of paint which can reduce drag and increase flight performance.
Fast forward to the age of big data and real-time analytics. Today developers are working on finding new tools to save fuel and operate flights faster and more efficiently. They can make this happen by crunching the vast amounts of information that is available to pilots through onboard Wi-Fi, helping them make better decisions during a flight.
A Next-Generation Approach to Fuel Consumption
Gogo recently partnered with Pace to continuously evaluate a wealth of flight data that will help pilots optimize flight paths for maximum efficiency without compromising a smooth ride for passengers.
Pace’s Pacelab Flight Profile Optimizer is a unique decision-support tool built for a pilot’s electronic flight bag (EFB) that will connect in real time on the flight dashboard. This lets a pilot adapt to a myriad of changing conditions during a flight, resulting in reducing fuel burn and improving on-time performance.
“By partnering with PACE, we establish a direct relationship to help market and integrate with each other’s products while accelerating speed to market and providing a clear path for adoption of this valuable fuel savings tool into airline operations,” said Andrew Kemmetmueller, Gogo’s vice president of connected aircraft services. “Gogo continues to move beyond the passenger connectivity arena and is rapidly enabling the era of the connected aircraft.”
This partnership also helps make air travel greener. By shaving minutes off a flight, airlines are reducing their carbon footprint. This can really add up if you think of the scale of airline fuel consumption. A Boeing 747, for example consumes a gallon of fuel every four seconds. So shaving just 10 minutes off a flight can save the airline 600 gallons.
Gogo’s partnership with Pacelabs leverages the data and knowledge from providing Wi-Fi to customers to helping the crew in the cockpit. With more than two decades of experience in in-flight connectivity Gogo to is well poised to lead the application of real-time data to benefit passengers. Beyond bringing its partner airlines valuable fuel savings, it’s a smoother ride and a better choice for the environment.