June 24, 2008

Airlines Slowing Down to Save Fuel

At least two Canadian airlines acknowledge their pilots are flying slower to save fuel as oil prices rise and profits vanish, the Canwest News Service reported.

Air Canada, based in Montreal, and WestJet Airlines in Calgary, Alberta, told the news agency the slowing down wasn't enough to affect on-time arrivals.

Over the course of a multi-hour flight, it would be in the few minutes' range, said WestJet spokesman Richard Bartrem.

Similarly, Capt. Claude Saint-Martin, Air Canada's manager of fuel efficiency and environmental matters, said small adjustments had been made to flight speeds.

Just like automobiles, if you drive a little slower, you're going to save fuel, Saint-Martin said.

He said as a result, flights are 1 minute longer for every hour of flight.

Last week, Air Canada announced some 2,000 job layoffs and reduced flights in response to the soaring price of fuel. which Monday surpassed $136 per barrel.