Airlines weigh-in on cost-cutting ……

Let’s end this week on a lighter note (<= pun intended).

Loyal readers know that I’ve been a long-standing of airlines charging by the pound rather than having a flat fare that is applied to all passengers – small, big and supersized.

Here are some ‘greatest hits’ posts on the topic.

Prices: Why don’t airlines charge more for these bags?

Norwegian economics professor jumps on the scale … endorses “pay what you weigh”

Air fares: Public weighs in …

Tipping the scales: Airline starts weighing all passengers …

Applying the principle, GoAir, an Indian low-cost carrier, now only hires female flight attendants because they are on average 10-15 kg lighter than men. Less weight means less fuel-burn, lower costs, more profit.



According to The Economist, it’s just one of the ways that airlines are shaving costs these days.


Here are some others …

  • Southwest Airlines went generic, removing the company’s logo from rubbish bags
  • To cut weight, airlines are laying thinner carpets and serving food in lighter cardboard boxes.
  • Some airlines have jettisoned safety equipment for emergency water landings on those aircraft that don’t fly over water
  • Some airlines are replacing existing seat cushions with skinnier ones made from lighter materials such as titanium that weigh about 1/3 that of a standard seat.

All that may sound penny ante, but the savings add up.

And, some airlines are going long-ball:

For example, Airbus thinks it has a way to cut boarding costs.

Airbus has been granted a patent for a portable cabin that copies the seating arrangement of an aircraft.

The module, docked at a gate, is loaded with passengers and their luggage and is then slotted into an empty aircraft like a matchbox that neatly slips into its case.

The plane then flies to its destination; after landing the detachable cabin is removed and replaced by another module containing a new set of passengers ready for take-off.

The futuristic design is projected to save airlines billions of dollars each year.

And, oh yeah, don’t forget to charge passengers by the pound …


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