News: High fuel price makes planes fly slower

Despite a hike in fuel prices, Brussels Airlines decided not to increase its fuel tax, but rather to slow its Avro planes by about 10km/h (from Mach 0.7 to Mach 0.69) on European routes. This would cut its annual fuel bill by 1 million euros ($1.6m), adding an average minute or two to flight times. (Ed: Flying to Rome, that does not matter, as minimum waiting time for luggage at Fiumicino airport is one hour anyway...)

Other measures taken are to use lighter seat covers (saving 50 kg per flight), and to monitor the amount of water taken onboard to flush the toilet. They are also considering taking out all of the ashtrays, which are unused anyway. (Full article in English or in Dutch)

More posts on the Road about Brussels Airlines, flying and Belgium.
Picture courtesy


Anonymous,  24 April, 2008 05:57  

If they fly slower, is that mean safer as well?...Very intersting blog.

Anonymous,  24 April, 2008 07:50  

very spiky the comment on Fiumicino... at least you have always a way to get them back.. Try at LHR and good luck!

Peter 24 April, 2008 08:08  

LHR? aaargh. I am getting nightmares again... ;-)))

I think I should write a story about trying to get my luggage back last year. It was lost in transit between some inter-island flights in the Caribbean, connecting to a flight to Gatwick, connecting to a flight from LHR to Brussels...
It went wrong at the first leg, and the luggage went missing in the system in the neighbourhood of London... Unknown LHR or Gatwick...

In the end, the "system" did not help, but I got some people on the telephone who did an effort to actually go and look... The bags were found, laying by the belt in Gatwick, and had been there for 10 days.. It had all my sailing gear, camera, etc... in it.

Anyway. At Fiumicino, it is seen as 'normal practice' that bags take one hour to appear on the belt. Even for domestic flights... I fly frequently from Brindisi in the South to Rome. 50 minutes flight. 30 minutes in the plane waiting for the stairs to arrive, and then 60-90 minutes waiting for the luggage...

Ah.. more stories to write ;-)


Unknown 24 April, 2008 09:44  

If removing ashtrays actually makes a difference to fuel economy then it is time airlines addressed the white elephant in the room: overweight people.

Brussels Airlines has identified lighter seat covers, what about lighter passengers?

The portly fellow-passenger is being subsidised by the rest of us. These people should be obliged to pay a surcharge for being stout, to cover the additional fuel requirement. We pay more for excess baggage, we should do it for excess bellies too.

Peter 24 April, 2008 14:30  

Hmmm... would smell like discrimination to me... I am happy to pay for my fellow human being, even if there is a bit of extra of them... ;-)


pumuckl 24 April, 2008 19:48  

well it shows that whatever the problem is, there are ways to make things better fitting. why not earlier??

and agree wholeheartedly on your discrimination point. charge baggage, use lighter covers, re-think some of the ballast, but do not start punishing people for actually being the way they are.

Voegtli 25 April, 2008 07:44  

Very interesting and an airline that has "senseful" thinking.

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