Fremont, California (EastBayDaily) — The United States airline industry consumes more fuel than any other country in the world. A lot can be based on the fact that America is the home of two of three of the world’s largest airlines. American and Delta consumed a little over 3 million gallons of fuel in 2011. Both are well on their ways to matching those numbers for 2012. Delta was considered the world’s largest airline in 2011. United, which is currently the world’s largest airline since merging with Continental has yet to report their totals for 2012 under the new United. However, the combined usage for 2011 between the two was near 1.6 million gallons.
As demand for fuel continues on a path to record numbers, the airlines have slowly been doing their part in order to save on fuel which ultimately saves on the airline’s cash flow. “One huge factor on fuel savings are more fuel efficient airplanes,” says Lets Fly Cheaper CEO, Ramon vanMeer. In addition to more efficient airplanes are new innovations in bio fuel discoveries. In November of 2011, then Continental Airlines became the first U.S carrier to fly a revenue flight using bio-fuel. The Boeing 737-800 burned fuel that was made from a genetically modified, oil producing algae. That same month, Alaska Airlines started a revenue flight that burned recycled cooking oil. More major carriers are expected to continue testing these new bio-fuels in the near future with the intent become less dependent on traditional jet fuel.
Over the past few years, many of the airlines have started retiring their less fuel efficient aircraft by replacing them with newer, more fuel efficient models. Boeing and Airbus are currently working on updates for their most successful models, the Boeing 737 Max and the Airbus A320 Neo. The new updates will feature more streamlined, fuel efficient wing designs and engines.
The experts at Lets Fly Cheaper conducted a study on some of the major carriers in the U.S and the efficiency of their current fleets. Of all the legacy carriers, American Airlines had the worst fuel efficiency record. The airline still currently flies 192 McDonnell Douglas, MD-80 series of aircraft. The aircraft burns nearly 1000 gallons of jet fuel per hour. American Airlines is in the process of actively replacing those airplanes with newer; much more fuel efficient Boeing 737-800 series, which burns less than 750 gallons an hour. Delta Airlines had the second worst fuel efficiency. The airline currently operates 119 MD-88s and 14 of the older DC-9 version, the airline acquired from Northwest Airlines during the 2008 merger. Delta is in the process of replacing the DC-9s with the newer Boeing 717 aircraft they recently purchased from Southwest Airlines. “The airlines realize they need to continue to update their fleets to generate profits. Especially if they want to keep selling cheap air fare,” says vanMeer.
United Airlines had the best results of all the legacy carriers despite having a fairly old fleet. Prior to the merger with Continental, United hadn’t taken delivery of a new aircraft since the Boeing 777 in 1996. With the Continental merger, the airline gained a large, fuel efficient, Boeing 737-800 fleet in addition to United’s fuel efficient Airbus A319 fleet. The airline has also hashed out a deal with Solazyme, the bio-fuel company which produced the algae fuel for Continental, to purchase 20 million gallons of the algae fuel annually. Those deliveries will begin in 2014.
The data for the 2011 fuel consumption was taken from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Below is the complete list of the ten airlines studied based of off the least fuel efficient fleets.
1. American Airlines 2. Delta Airlines 3. Allegiant Air 4. Southwest Airlines 5. US Airways 6. United Airlines 7. Alaska Airlines 8. Frontier 9. JetBlue 10. Virgin America
Lets Fly Cheaper.com is a low fare specialist, focused on supplying cheap business class flights to international destinations worldwide. To book the lowest fare contact one of their travel agents at 1-800-240-0461 or go to http://www.letsflycheaper.com
Sean Delanty, Director of Marketing Lets Fly Cheaper 800-240-0461
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