Wind technology slashes airline fuel bill

Air China claims to have saved almost £1.2 million in fuel costs after trialing technology supplied by airline IT firm Sita.


The Wind Uplink service allows pilots to adjust flight paths according to changing wind and weather conditions, making fuel use as efficient as possible.


Air China tested the flight management software on some of its international routes.


Lu Yun-Guo, Air China’s senior manager of operation technology, said: “We started trialing the service in early 2013 and have already significantly lowered our fuel bills.


“In just six months, we saved close to £1.2 million, and that was with implementation across only part of our fleet.


“We anticipate that our annual savings across our entire fleet will be in the region of £4.75 million.


“Crew feedback has been excellent as well.”


The Wind Uplink technology constantly analyses weather conditions on the route ahead to determine optimum altitude, fuel burn and arrival-time predictions.


May Zhou, vice president and general manager of Sita China, said: “Our work with Air China provides a perfect example of how Sita is constantly innovating to help the air transport industry operate more efficiently and effectively.


“It will not only reduce Air China’s fuel costs, but enhance the safety of flights by giving early visibility of the potential need to use contingency fuel, or, in the event of a worsening forecast, the need to divert.”


Sita has also installed hardware in Air China’s offices to ensure the data provided to the crew is totally under the airline’s supervision.

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