Even before the COVID-19 impact, airlines were facing razor-thin margins and the imperative to cut costs wherever possible. New restrictions on flight capacities are compounding the struggle. Airlines must find innovative methods of cost reduction and look at ways to maximize fleet fuel efficiency to meet their budgets.
The Challenge of Fleet Fuel Efficiency
Airlines can’t typically reduce their fixed costs. Payroll and property expenses don’t fluctuate greatly and don’t allow for negotiation. And airplane maintenance is not a place to skimp when lives depend on planes that are in good working order.
But the cost of fuel can vary widely from flight to flight. So fuel costs can be a good target for reducing overall expenses.
And when examining ways to lower the outlay of cash for jet fuel, airline operators must work in step with the weather. Mother Nature has plenty to say when it comes to how much fuel any given flight will require.
So when airlines work toward improving their fleet fuel efficiency, they require reliable forecasts and expert analysis.
The Need for Streamlined Operations
The airline industry has always fallen prey to volatile markets. Economic downturns due to any cause invariably hit the travel sector hard. So airline operations always rely on streamlined systems to keep companies in the black.
And now, in the current COVID-19 pandemic, governmental travel restrictions and personal safety concerns are adding to the turmoil. Airlines must be strategic in their planning to help protect their profit.
Flight routes based on excellent weather data allow for small changes that have a significant impact. The amount of saved fuel can add up to a substantial improvement in overall fleet fuel efficiency.
Streamlined operations based on weather reports can increase an airline’s profit by:
- Protecting crew and passengers with the safest routes
- Reducing canceled flights
- Improving customer satisfaction
Select the Best Routes
Rerouting flights due to weather surprises is expensive, and any increase in fuel consumption is costly. Grounding planes due to weather is even more detrimental to the bottom line.
With modern technological and meteorological advances, airline operators should not have to guess about the weather as frequently as they do. And when sudden changes do occur, the technology should allow for efficient adaptation.
High-quality weather services give access to real-time data that allows for the best planning and while en route. Since weather conditions can change so drastically during a flight, it is crucial to have the ability to plan on-the-go.
Increased adaptability means less wasted fuel. Operators can choose the best, most direct flight path with the least fuel consumed. Data about ice, turbulence, and lightning strikes empower crews and airlines to make safe and efficient decisions.
Because of the ability to plan the most efficient routes through bad weather, more flights can take off. Operations based on weather data have the flexibility to adjust routes in-flight and to stay on schedule. Fewer diversions and canceled flights can also lead to lower costs.
On-time arrivals allow the airline to avoid the snowball effect one delay can have on their schedule. And with current heightened cleaning protocols in place for COVID-19, timeliness is even more crucial. Delayed arrivals create a backlog of cleaning to prep the plane for its next flight.
And with valuable slots on the line each season, airlines can’t afford to have too many delays or cancellations.
Improving Customer Satisfaction
Customers understand that weather can cause flight delays and cancellations. And yet, when it happens, customers are rarely understanding in the moment. They can become quite angry and troublesome.
In addition, flights full of turbulence and discomfort can leave passengers with a bad impression of the airline. Of course, the weather is not the fault of an airline. But customers are not always rational in their reactions.
Airlines that rely on expert meteorological forecasts reduce their delays and cancellations. Therefore, customers can meet their connecting flights more frequently and easily. Accurate weather data also allows operators to choose routes that can offer a smoother and more pleasant customer experience.
All of this adds up to higher customer satisfaction. And in a competitive industry, client happiness is critical. So if your fleet fuel efficiency can lead to happy passengers, you can protect your profit.
What to Look for in Airline Weather Services
From single flights to entire fleet operations, having reliable weather insights is vital. Your revenue and profit can be on the line if the weather repeatedly impacts your overall ability to operate smoothly.
When choosing an aviation weather service provider, look for these key pieces:
- Real-Time Data – Give your pilots and crew the power to adjust during flight, as needed. With current information at their fingertips, your personnel can make appropriate decisions.
- Flight Hazard Information – Ensure the safest flight possible with a service that includes thunderstorm, ice, and turbulence forecast. Protect your fleet fuel efficiency with the right information.
- Planning for Short and Long-Term – Choose a weather service that gives you both an immediate view and up to 36 hours.
- Real-time Monitoring – Flights are continuously monitored for evolving threats, including altitude, position, and time components.
- Ease of Use – Your ground and flight personnel will need to make rapid decisions based on the data.
- Varied Cruising Altitudes – Look for a weather service platform that can provide hyper-accurate data for different altitudes. This information gives the crew significant decision-making power.
Try the DTN Aviation Solution
If you are ready to streamline your operations with money-saving fuel efficiency, reach out to the team at DTN. Our Flight Route Alerting gives your crew the knowledge and confidence to plan and adjust with ease. You will save fuel, save money, and boost your bottom line.