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Carriers jettison ovens, coat hangers to cut ATF bill
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 17
What is the connection between ovens, coat hangers and an aircraft? Well, ovens and coat hangers add to the aircraft's weight and it is not a joke. Considering that cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) accounts for major part of operational costs and more an aircraft weighs more jet fuel it will conume, airlines are now trying every possible way to reduce in-flight weight and save on fuel.

Fuel can comprise up to 50 per cent of operating costs, depending upon the age of the aircraft. Therefore, while international airlines are reducing in-flight load by jettisoning magazines, cutlery and entertainment services to reduce fuel bills, India’s currently loss-making aviation sector also is trying its bit to save money by cutting down on extra flab.

International audit, tax and advisory services firm KPMG had also recently recommended cutting the flab to domestic airlines in India to draw in profits even during a lean period.

It said India's loss-making aviation sector should be ready to accept rising jet fuel as a way of life, adding that at present ATF accounted for about 30 per cent of the cost of operating a new aircraft and about 35 per cent of the cost in the case of an older aircraft.

As far as low-cost carrier Spicejet is concerned, chief financial officer Partha Sarathi Basu said the airlines had curtailed the weight of the aircraft by not carrying ovens and coat hangers.

“We have the lowest fuel consumption per hour in the industry. Our aircraft are fitted with winglets to make it fuel-efficient. We have also curtailed the weight of the aircraft by not carrying ovens and coat hangers etc. Additionally, we also have an efficient fuel management programme, which is reviewed on a regular basis,” he said, responding to The Tribune query on the issue.

President and CEO of IndiGo Airlines Bruce Ashby also said his airlines had been careful in developing aircraft specification to avoid carrying any extra weight.

“From day one of IndiGo’s operations, we have been optimising fuel burn. We use sophisticated flight planning software that considers all trade-offs of climb, descent, cruise speed, fuel boarded and so forth.



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