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Cut the flab, new mantra of airlines

Zoe Sinclair (Our staff reporter)
Filed on June 11, 2008

DUBAI Airlines, including those in the UAE, are adopting weight-shedding measures like reducing the number of ice cubes and opting for smaller cutlery and chips instead of cookies onboard to cut down fuel consumption, thereby carbon emissions.

The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) Aviation Environment Assistant Director, Quentin Browell, speaking to Khaleej Times during an IATA conference in Dubai recently, said "green teams" were recommending various options to airlines as ways to reduce weight and fuel use.

Browell said weight-cutting methods such as reducing the number of ice cubes, lighter trolleys and replacing glass with plastic, had helped some airlines save up to 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or up to 14 per cent in fuel costs per year.

"Airlines are looking at reducing magazines and potable water," he said. "The weight of seats, using light weight trolleys with light weight materials. Reducing spoons, the number of ice cubes."

UAE airlines are already implementing the measures with industry figures reporting that a plane saves 34,000 litres of fuel per year for each kilogramme less in weight per seat.

An Emirates spokesperson confirmed the airline had removed footrests and moving functions online as part of weight-saving measures.

Etihad Airways spokesperson Thomas Clarke said the airline had also begun using Skybooks, an electronic version of completing aviation charts and log books.

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