Light as Air
for airlines, so it’s no surprise that they are continually looking for ways to lighten the load. A figure brought to the forefront by Norwegian economist Bharat P Bhatta’s proposed pay-as-you-weigh pricing mode l for passenger fares, is his estimate that a reduction of one kilogram of weight could result in a fue l saving of 3,000 US dollars per year.
Innovative ways to lower weight
Maybe not going the whole hog of charging passengers depending on their weight, carriers have resorted to ever more inventive ways of lowering aircraft weight.
These have included American Airlines serving one less olive in its inflight salads, British Airways lighter inflight magazine and Virgin Atlantic’s radical rethink of economy meals.*
All of these measures add up to lower operator costs, less fuel and a reduction in CO2 emissions. As effective as these in-cabin changes may be, potentially greater savings can be made in the fundamental design of the plane. One option for this is a shift from metal components to composites.