For little over a year now, US airframer Boeing, has been offering a ‘Performance Improvement Package’ (PIP) on its best selling 737NG aircraft. This includes the 737-800, 737-700 and 737-900ER, operated, in India, by the Jet Airways group and SpiceJet.
PIP combines aerodynamic and engine performance improvements to reduce fuel burn by up to 2%. Boeing began performance improvement testing in November 2010 and as of date, has delivered more than 420 737s with PIP.
Elements of the performance improvement package (PIP), include aerodynamic-shaped anti-collision lights, streamlined slat and spoiler trailing edges, ski-jump wheel well fairings re-contoured to smooth the air flow near the main landing gear, and enhancements to the CFM engine like a re-contoured plug and cutback nozzle. The final element of the package, a redesigned environmental control system exhaust vent, is scheduled for mid-2013. Boeing has been progressively introducing these enhancements on the 737 airframe over the last year at no extra charge to its customers.
In India, Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) is heavily over-taxed and is almost twice the cost internationally. Compared to international airlines where fuel costs are typically 25%~30% of operating cost, Indian carriers like Jet Airways have to contend with fuel constituting 50% or more of their operating costs. Jet has for sometime now, embarked on various fuel saving initiatives, optimisation and performance tracking. The carrier’s engineering and operations departments maintain stringent checks on all these initiatives.
We asked Jet Airways about their experience with the Boeing 737 PIP and their fuel saving initiatives.
Q. What results has Jet Airways achieved with its PIP equipped 737s?
Jet Airways has observed that the performance numbers are satisfactory and match those values specified by Boeing.These savings claimed by Boeing are established through Flight Testing.
Editors note: As per a Boeing release, Japan Airlines is experiencing more than 2% fuel burn reduction, while flydubai is experiencing 1.6%.
Q2. Is Jet satisfied with the PIP enhancements?
As mentioned above, Jet Airways has observed that the performance numbers are satisfactory and in accordance to those specified by Boeing.
Q3. Is there anything additional that Jet would like for Boeing to do in order to meet Jet’s goals?
Upgrading and modifying equipment is a continuous process, and we expect manufacturers like Boeing to fine-tune their product offerings towards a safer, streamlined, cleaner and greener flying experience.
Q4. Does Jet have defined goals for fuel savings? Please share, if possible. Also how is the progress Jet is making towards fuel consumption savings?
Jet Airways has set itself definitive goals for fuel saving and has made significant progress in that direction. Jet Airways has categorized its fuel saving programme by department, for minute examination of same. Below are some indicative categories for the airline’s fuel saving initiatives:
- Alternate rationalization
- In flight APU usage
- Reserve Fuel Policy
- Precise Zero Fuel Weight – Flight Planning System
- Light Weight LD Containers
- Aircraft performance restoration
- Reduced APU ground operations
- Catering weights rationalisation
- Load distribution control
- Potable water reduction
- E Techlog
Editor’s note: SpiceJet did not respond to our queries