Biofuel-powered airplane flights have been getting lots of press recently, but powering planes with algae, jatropha, and camelina isn’t the only way to save on traditional jet fuel. Air India, the country’s national airline, has saved $9.26 million over six months with simple energy-saving techniques.
The airline has cut contingency fuel from 5% to 3% and decreased aircraft weight by reducing the amount of water, the weight of food carts, and the magazines on board. (Ed. note: What heavy magazines were they carrying, back issues of Vogue?) Air India also now flies in a straight line at optimal altitudes and speed, practices a “continuous descent” approach during landing, uses a single engine during taxiing, and derives pre-flight power from sources on the ground.
As a result of these measures, the airline expects to reduce its annual fuel use by 12 billion gallons, cut carbon emissions by 160,000 tons, and save $16 million.