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5 Ways Airlines Save On Operations Costs

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Like many businesses with constantly fluctuating costs, airlines are always looking for clever ways to save on costs. Most of the time, these changes seem so small they may not look like they could add up to significant savings. But because of the sheer scale airlines are working with, even tiny alterations can make a huge difference. Here are some of the popular ways for airlines to save money in their day-to-day operations.

1. Going Green
While some airlines have gone fully sustainable and committed to everything from bio-fuel to renewable energy, others have found that just adding a few environmentally-friendly changes can save them a lot on operations costs in the long run. For instance, using a solar battery or solar panels can save a lot on energy costs, as well as LED lighting.

Having heating and cooling triggered by sensors rather than on a timer can also save airlines a lot by not pumping heating or A.C into unused areas of the airport. And switching to paperless options for tickets, boarding passes, and in-flight reading materials can also significantly cut down on the wasted paper an airline might easily spend thousands of dollars on a year.

2. Lightening the Load
Airlines spend increasing amounts on fuel, and one sure way to decrease the amount of fuel used in a flight is by lightening the load. Even the tiniest changes to what is brought on board can have a significant impact on fuel usage. Some airlines have ditched plastic straws and started cutting their lime wedges a little thinner, changes that a passenger won't notice but that can relieve flights of thousands of pounds of unnecessary weight.

Other airlines have found clever designs for their seats that remove a lot of the cushioning without compromising the passengers' comfort. The drink carts are one of the heaviest items brought on board, so finding ways to lighten them by serving fewer drink options on the night or red-eye flights can save a lot of fuel.

3. Pre-Servicing Aircrafts
The necessary servicing of aircraft after a flight lands and before the next one takes off is a step that can take a lot of time and frequently ends up delaying flights. Airlines often have to wait for the aircraft to reach the departure gate before they can begin servicing, but departure gates are not always available. This means the aircraft get taken to another location to sit and wait until a gate opens.

Airlines can save a lot of time and frustration simply by breaking the servicing process into steps, and performing some of them while the aircraft waits at the alternate location. Some servicing steps are flight-specific, like catering supplies, and have to be done at the gate. But others can be done just as efficiently and satisfactorily anywhere else in the airport.

4. Counting Passengers
At the beginning of a flight, attendants are usually expected to count the passengers to ensure that everyone is accounted for before takeoff. But this process, if each minute spent on it for each aircraft is tallied up, wastes a significant amount of time. By simply having the flight attendants count empty seats, or count passengers as they board at the gate, you'll end up with a lot of time saved and most likely a more accurate passenger count.

5. Tidying Up the Cabin
After a flight lands and disembarks, flight attendants or cleaning crews will usually go through the cabin tidying up for the next flight. This involves some necessary processes, like cleaning and disinfecting, and come purely cosmetic steps, like crossing or buckling the seatbelts. The cosmetic touches may seem significant, but they can also waste a lot of time. Consider ditching the overall image of the cabin in favor of a more efficient onboarding process.

Airlines save money by consistently looking for where waste exists in the airport and aircraft. These wasteful components may seem insignificant, but they can make the difference between a lucrative airline and one that's losing money.

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