Airline Kaizen – Action, not Whining
I'm just thrilled anytime I see an example of an airline making a process improvement (a “kaizen” if you will) instead of their usual game plan of whining, slashing employee pay, or cutting corners.
Drivers have long known that slowing down on the highway means getting more miles to the gallon. Now airlines are trying it, too – adding a few minutes to flights to save millions on fuel.
Southwest Airlines started flying slower about two months ago, and projects it will save $42 million in fuel this year by extending each flight by one to three minutes.
On one Northwest Airlines flight from Paris to Minneapolis earlier this week alone, flying slower saved 162 gallons of fuel, saving the airline $535. It added eight minutes to the flight, extending it to eight hours, 58 minutes.
That meant flying at an average speed of 532 mph, down from the usual 542 mph.
This is a simple kaizen we can ALL apply. Instead of just whining about high gas prices, drive slower, ease up on the “rabbit starts,” and keep your tires at the proper air pressure. To learn more about mileage improvement tips, click here.