Tui travel goes out of its way to monitor fuel consumption

As a business that sells holidays in advance, often with a lead-in of 18 months, TUI Travel is giving the European Union ETS scheme top priority.

TUI Travel was created last year when UK tour operator First Choice Holidays, which operates in-house carrier First Choice Airways, announced merger plans with the tourism division of Germany's TUI Group - parent of fellow UK airline Thomsonfly.

As such, TUI which will be an eventual operator of 23 Boeing 787s, is easily a contender as the third largest UK airline operation after BA and EasyJet, operating a combined fleet of 80 aircraft.

Danielle Chapman, TUI UK's head of industry affairs, says the business understood early on the importance of developing a daily fuel monitoring system and perfecting the presentation of monthly data, most of which it already collected as standard.

Thomsonfly has in fact worked on analysing the finer detail of fuel burn since 2003, breaking down fuel consumption data with an in-depth analysis of, for example, fuel reserves carried, taxi times and flight sectors. "Admittedly, these were more background studies and certainly not as sophisticated as we have now but they did serve as an early indication and a basis for action," says Chapman.

Discussing the latest Council position on the Commission's draft directive following political agreement between member states, Chapman says TUI was disappointed in the preferred average annual emissions baseline of 2004-06, hoping for a later 2008-10, which would have allowed for more preparation - and additional business growth. But TUI was glad to see no multiplier for NOx emissions. "The number one priority is carbon dioxide and in terms of administration, it's a fairly easy calculation, a flat conversion formula. With NOx it quickly gets complicated and really depends on how flat your foot is to the floor," she says.

James Whittingham, environment manager, First Choice Holidays, says the environment features significantly in the leisure business's wider corporate social responsibility programme, rooted as it is in the business's efforts to promote sustainable tourism over several years.

Together with Patrick Haller, Thomsonfly's fuel conservation manager, he works closely with the airlines attempting to encourage ever-better environmental performance, addressing three principal areas: fuel burn on an revenue per kilometre basis, weight reduction both in terms of aircraft engineering and onboard equipment and noise

Trying to establish a fuel-saving culture can range from simple, measurable guidelines determining, for example, the frequency of potable water filling, to offering guidelines on flight techniques and support with data analysis.

"That however is up to the pilot at the end of the day. Even so, there's a definite willingness out there even with guys with 20 years' flying experience. Fuel burn is an issue which pilots can directly determine and they often come up with their own ideas which supports our 'every drop helps' thinking," says Haller.

Data supplied by UK airports operator BAA which reveals a highly respectable percentage of arrivals achieving continuous descent approach and on track departures at main airports such as London Gatwick certainly supports that.



Source: Flight International