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On August 03, 2021

8 questions that you ask yourself before launching a fuel efficiency program

In your airline organization, fuel should be one of your most essential concerns. It’s likely to represent your #1 cost, usually around 30% of your operational costs and sometimes more.

Any airline willing to get a profitable recovery, to be more competitive, to preserve its cash while reaching environmental excellence should tackle the issue of fuel.

Becoming a forward-looking airline means addressing the fuel efficiency topic with the most modern digital tools. However, implementing fuel-efficiency software can bring some questions. In this article, we answer some of those:

1) “Fuel-saving practices,” “best practices,” “fuel initiatives”: are we talking about the same thing?

Yes. “Best practices,” “fuel saving practices,” “fuel initiatives” are terms often used in the industry (e.g., in the IATA fuel book), and they refer to any fuel initiatives the airline has set up to be more efficient and fly greener. 

2) Which fuel initiative do you recommend starting with?

Each airline is different and will take a different path. We recommend first gathering representatives from each department, discussing what is already in place internally, and see if you can identify quick wins among all the well-known fuel initiatives (the Green Airlines Fuel Book can help you with that). It is essential to embed your fuel efficiency program into your company culture.

As soon as you launch the fuel efficiency project with these first actions, try to involve the whole airline. It will raise fuel efficiency awareness internally and ease the implementation of the following fuel initiatives.

Then you will decide to launch more complex fuel initiatives looking at their potential savings versus the complexity to implement.

It is essential to monitor the best practices savings continuously and to communicate about the progress.

3) Which best practice save the most fuel?

Again, it depends on many parameters: the aircraft type, the route, the type of operations, etc.

Only a Fuel Management Information system doing accurate computation on each flight will give you these insights. Learn more about SkyBreathe, eco-flying solution.

4) Are fuel best practices only dedicated to pilots?

No. Even if pilots are critical players in a fuel efficiency project because many of the fuel initiatives are related to flight operations, fuel savings can be achieved in any area of the airline. The Green Airlines Fuel Book describes the most common fuel best practices per department.

5) How can we involve pilots in our fuel efficiency project/program?

Pilots need to be at the center of your fuel efficiency strategy. Indeed, they can make a big difference. Here are interesting articles that may help you have a first idea on how to engage pilots on flight efficiency:

6) Can we monitor fuel initiatives’ progress on older aircraft?

Yes. As soon you can gather data about actual flight performance (FDR, ACARS, for example) and have the right tool to interpret these data, you can monitor your fuel initiatives' progress.

7) How long does it take to launch a fuel efficiency program?

A fuel-efficiency program can be launched quickly. However, it is a company-wide project, and for this reason, it is recommended to secure C-Level sponsorship to ease its launch.

In few months, you should be able to embed your fuel efficiency program into your company culture.

8) How long does it take to achieve fuel efficiency savings?

If your fuel-efficiency program is launched with full support from your top management, you will see fuel savings very quickly.

As soon as you start to communicate about your fuel efficiency program and your first objectives, progress will usually come in a few weeks.


Maybe you are already doing fuel initiatives. If so, you can go further.

First, you need to know how well you are doing with these fuel initiatives:

  • Do you measure their application rates? 
  • When a fuel initiative is applied, do you know if it is done perfectly? Because the most accessible road to success is to improve the way you are applying these fuel initiatives.

Then, in parallel, you can explore other areas and find new best practices related to fuel efficiency. The Green Airlines Fuel Book can help you identify these new fuel savings opportunities.


Like what you see? Want to learn more about fuel efficiency?

Discover our white paper about "How to use big data analytics to improve fuel efficiency".



By Olivier

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