Chicago, IL (PRWEB) February 11, 2013
U.S. Airlines Address Fuel Consumption Concerns.
More fuel is consumed by the U.S. airline industry than by any other air carrier industry around the globe. That fact is partially due to the reality that the U.S. is home base for two of the top three airlines in the world. In 2011, Delta, the world’s largest airline at the time, and American Airlines consumed fuel in excess of 3 million gallons and should match those numbers in 2012. With its recent acquisition of Continental, United is now the largest air carrier in the world. Together, United and Continental consumed about 1.6 million gallons of jet fuel in 2011; their 2012 usage has not been released.
To curb ever-increasing fuel demands, U.S. airlines are working to reduce fuel usage and improve fuel costs.I Fly First Class PR Manager Julia Graft notes that airlines are using more fuel-efficient airplanes, some designed around taking advantage of developments in the bio-fuel industry. The first American airline to use bio-fuel was Continental Airlines in 2011, flying a Boeing 737 powered by algae that was genetically modified to produce oil. Also in 2011, recycled cooking oil was used on an Alaska Airlines flight. This trend toward using bio-fuels is expected to advance as U.S. carriers seek ways to reduce jet fuel consumption.
In addition to the new bio-fuels, airlines are replacing older, less efficient airplanes with more modern, fuel-efficient airplanes. Airbus and Boeing are both improving the efficiency of their most popular aircraft models with enhancements on components such as engines and wings.
I Fly First Class experts studied the fuel efficiency of major U.S. airline fleets and found some interesting results. American Airlines’ fleet consumed the most fuel, particularly its many MD-80s that consume jet fuel to the tune of nearly 1,000 gallons an hour. American is currently replacing its MD-80s with Boeing’s line of 737 airplanes, which burn under 750 gallons per hour. Delta’s older fleet of MD-88 aircraft and DC-9s placed it as the second worst fuel efficient fleet. Delta recently purchased more recent Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 717 airplanes to replace the older DC-9s.
Graft says that the airlines know that they must replenish their fleets with more fuel-efficient aircraft in order to stay economically viable. That’s especially true if airlines are to continue to keep air fares low.
In spite of a relatively older fleet, United Airlines showed the best fuel usage. Its acquisition of Continental brought United a large fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, more fuel-efficient complements to United’s fleet of Airbus A319 aircraft. In 2014, United will begin using millions of gallons of algae fuel each year, courtesy of an agreement with Continental’s bio-fuel supplier, Solazyme.
The list below shows the 10 least fuel-efficient major fleets, based on data published by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
1. American Airlines
2. Delta Airlines
3. Allegiant Air
4. Southwest Airlines
5. US Airways
6. United Airlines
7. Alaska Airlines
10. Virgin America
Julia Graft, PR Manager
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