Delta Adds Arrival Management System to Growing List of Fuel Conservation Initiatives
Employee ideas, fuel hedges provide additional opportunities to conserve fuel and save money
ATLANTA, August 24, 2006 – Beginning in August, Delta Air Lines is using a new decision support tool to better manage landings into Atlanta during congested periods, resulting in less fuel consumption. The program, called Attila™, talks directly between Delta’s Operations Control Center (OCC) and Delta cockpits to provide pilots with coordinated speed adjustments, which in turn allows for more evenly spaced landings and less airspace congestion. The program is the latest in a long list of conservation efforts the company has implemented over the years and alone is expected to save as much as $6 million of the more than $40 million in fuel savings that Delta expects to realize this year.
“The Attila program allows us to maximize our airspace efficiency, which is a technical way of saying our customers will experience fewer take-off delays from their origination city and less time sitting in a holding pattern upon arrival into Atlanta” said Joe Kolshak, Delta’s executive vice-president – Operations. “Simply put, a more evenly–spaced arrival rate will result in better customer service.”
The Attila program adds to a list of ongoing initiatives that Delta employs to conserve fuel across the operation, including:
* Performing single engine taxi procedures (for more than 30 years)
* Utilizing RNAV – a system designed to allow for more direct arrival and departure routes
* Compressor Wash – regularly washing the compressors in aircraft engines to increase fuel efficiency
* Retiring aircraft – older, less efficient 737-200 and 737-300 aircraft will be retired from the Delta fleet by September
* Better managing discretionary contingency fuel needs – putting less contingency fuel on the aircraft has helped us only use the fuel we need
* Super Tugs – For more than 20 years, Delta has used these tugs, rather than taxi, to reposition aircraft to avoid engine fuel burn
* More accurate weight planning – by more precisely anticipating cargo loads and passenger counts we can better plan the amount of fuel needed based on a more accurate takeoff weight
* Reducing aircraft weight – by removing ovens and phones and installing lighter seats on MD-88 and MD-90 fleets, Delta has reduced weight and, in turn, saved fuel
“With the cost of fuel remaining steadily above $70 a barrel, conservation efforts are more critical than ever,” said Kolshak. “Delta recently has been building on its reputation as a leader in fuel efficiency with new initiatives and employee engagement. We need everyone working and thinking together.”
Delta employees were recently asked to submit ideas for conserving fuel with a focus on aircraft weight reduction. Among the hundreds of ideas received, four were selected for implementation this year:
* Removing equipment not required for flight on board some Boeing 737-800 aircraft
* Removing magazine racks to save weight and provide additional overhead bin space for customers
* Replacing hard dividers between first and economy class with curtains or other lighter materials, which would also provide under seat stowage for customers seated in the bulkhead
* Optimizing alcohol and glassware provisioning on select international flights
These employee initiatives, being implemented in 2006, are estimated to save the airline $1 million in annual fuel expenses.
Because of its improving financial condition, Delta has been able to reinstate its fuel hedging program in recent months. The airline hedged approximately 78 percent of its planned fuel consumption for June, and as of July 31, had hedged approximately 49 percent of planned fuel consumption for the third quarter.
“Our renewed fuel hedging program is expected to help us strengthen our financial condition and aid in our recovery,” Kolshak said. “Our hedging from February to June of this year reduced our fuel expense by more than $4 million and going forward, hedging will help reduce risks to our recovery plan because we will know our costs up front as opposed to dealing with constant price fluctuations.”
“Because every one cent increase in the average cost per gallon of jet fuel drives approximately $25 million in additional fuel expense per year, fuel conservation is embedded into Delta’s day-to-day business and we will continue to make strides in conservation, efficiency and innovation,” said Kolshak.
Delta Air Lines (Other OTC: DALRQ) offers customers service to more destinations than any other global airline with Delta and Delta Connection carrier service to 295 destinations in 46 countries. With more than 50 new international routes added in the last year, Delta is America’s fastest growing international airline and is the world’s leading carrier between the United States and Europe with flights to 29 trans-Atlantic destinations. To Latin America, Delta offers nearly 500 weekly flights to 47 destinations and is quickly becoming the second-largest carrier in the region. Delta’s marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 14,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam partners, Delta offers flights to 463 worldwide destinations in 95 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.
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