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What’s next? Speed limiters for planes?

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- US airlines have been saving tens of millions of dollars in fuel, by dialing back the speeds of...


WASHINGTON, D.C. — US airlines have been saving tens of millions of dollars in fuel, by dialing back the speeds of their planes and extending trip lengths, the Associated Press has reported.

Southwest Airlines said it will save about US$42 million since slowing its planes down two months ago, extending trips by just one to three minutes, according to an article by the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Northwest reported it saved 162 gallons of fuel, or US$535, by slowing down on a trans-Atlantic flight which added eight minutes to the flight time. That flight travelled at an average of 532 mph rather than the usual 542 mph.

JetBlue slowed down its planes two years ago, adding an average of an extra two minutes to each flight. The move has saved the company US$13.6 million per year, the article says.

However, it’s a fine balance. Slowing down too much can cause a plane to actually use more fuel.

– With files from the Associated Press


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