We would dare to say that putting a fuel efficiency program in place without putting pilots at the center and working hard to earn their trust is doomed with failure.
Of course, a fuel efficiency program should be holistic and look at areas of improvement, not just in Flight Operations but in all departments of an airline (Dispatch, Engineering & Maintenance, Ground Operations, Commercial Operations, etc.) and even beyond with Air Traffic Control (ATC)
But in the end, pilots are the one that really can make a difference, not only in the way they operate the aircraft but also in the way they leverage or disregard improvements made by other departments.
How trust brings superior engagement?
If you earn pilot trust by sharing relevant and accurate information with them, you will probably enter a virtuous circle where:
- you will have a much richer capture of their experience;
- you will improve your SOPs and flight planning based on facts as well as their feedback;
- pilots will better value your recommendations and be more engaged:
Figure 1: The virtuous circle when earning pilot trust
And in the end, pilot engagement will make a difference.
The following graph shows how Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) pilots improved their single-engine taxi application rate from ~25% (a performance that had leveled for months) to >75% in just 4 months, once empowered with an app they could trust, called MyFuelCoach™:
Figure 2: Engaging pilots improves their fuel-saving best practices application rate
How superior engagement brings superior savings?
Let’s do the math on this example: on average Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) saves ~15kg per flight when applying single-engine taxi on the B737 and E190. By increasing the application rate rom 25% to 75% and considering that UIA operates 55,000 flights a year, the total saving at the end of the year is more than 400,000 kg of fuel!
Figure 3 : Cebu Pacific is saving > 10 M USD per year by engaging pilots
“Pilots are much more aware of their fuel performance and how they can improve. They feel engaged in the process.”
Francesc Torres, Director Flight Operations Technical Support & Dispatch at Cebu Pacific,
Learn more about how Cebu Pacific saved more than 11 million USD in 2017
In the next blog article, we will explain how you can earn pilot trust by empowering them and using a modern digital system that helps them. Stay tuned!
Image credits: Ralf Roletschek / roletschek.at
Like what you see? Want to learn more about fuel efficiency?
Discover more case studies and stories from airlines that have been there: