Wouldn’t it be great if travel didn’t cost an arm and a leg?

Posted on 19/09/2014

Wouldn’t it be great if travel didn’t cost an arm and a leg?

Well it may just be something that’s on the rise with some carriers. Air China claims to have saved almost £1.2 million in fuel costs after trailing technology supplied by airline IT firm Sita.

The Wind Uplink service allows pilots to adjust flight paths according to changing wind and weather conditions, making fuel use as efficient as possible.

Air China tested the flight management software on some of its international routes and Lu Yun-Guo, Air China’s senior manager of operation technology, said ‘the carrier has already significantly lowered its fuel bills’.

He also notes that in just six months, they saved close to £1.2 million, and that was with implementation across only part of their fleet. The airline anticipates that their annual savings across the entire fleet will be in the region of £4.75 million.

The Wind Uplink technology constantly analyses weather conditions on the route ahead to determine optimum altitude, fuel burn and arrival-time predictions.

The vice president and general manager of Sita China, said: “Our work with Air China provides a perfect example of how Sita is constantly innovating to help the air transport industry operate more efficiently and effectively.

“It will not only reduce Air China’s fuel costs, but enhance the safety of flights by giving early visibility of the potential need to use contingency fuel, or, in the event of a worsening forecast, the need to divert.”

So what does this mean for us travellers? Well, for one, with the ability to predetermine weather conditions it means there’s a chance for safer, seamless travel and, if carriers are managing to reduce their fuel expenses then there is hope that this could lead to a few dollars being shaved from our tickets! Fingers crossed!

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